When Marlo Hampton debuted her new business venture Le’ Archive to reality television viewers, it leftReal Housewives of Atlanta cast-mates and viewers alike scratching our heads. What exactly does Le’ Archive do? How does it make money? Why isn’t it spelled “L’Archive”? There are so many questions. As Kenya is asking above: “What is going on here?”
“They’re gonna open their wallets. They’re gonna purchase. They’re gonna tell their stylist to come shop with me,” Marlo says about the event she threw to promote Le’ Archive.
The event, which was featured on Episode 1 of Season 14, served sparkling Moscato, and hors d’oeuvres for the guests as they mingled among mannequins dressed in items from Marlo’s Le’ Archive collections. Marlo spent $40,000 on the event, and expected to rake in over $120,000 in revenue from the exposure.
The website for Le’ Archive is pretty simple. It boasts having over 5000 runway and archive luxury designer pieces curated by “style maven Marlo Hampton.”
You can’t purchase any of these pieces. Instead, they are available for rental for “photo shoots, television shows, music videos, editorials, movies, commercials, red carpets, premieres, advertising campaigns, etc.”
Many times people in the entertainment industry have stylists who work with designers, and also companies like Le’ Archive to find the perfect pieces.
Rentals are made by appointment only and are subject to an approval process. Marlo charged 25% of the retail value of the pieces per day, with a maximum of 7 days.
It’s worth noting, however, that this math doesn’t make a lot of sense if the customer rents for over 3 days. If they rent for 4 days, they could purchase the garment themselves. If the particular garment is unable to be found elsewhere, however, paying the premium might be worth it for the right customers. Most items like this are only rented for one or two days, so that’s usually not an issue.
Another drawback to Le’ Archive is that all the items are in Marlo’s size and measurements. It seems like a showroom like this would do better with a variety to sizes available. Still, if the business model works for her, then it’s a great way for Marlo to capitalize on a lifetime collection of luxury purchases.
Le’ Archive has been open since September 2020, and has a couple of good reviews on Yelp from satisfied customers. “I’ve been working in fashion a long time, pulling from showrooms and fashion houses alike on my journey. Le’Archive Showroom is one of my greatest and MOST seamless experiences so far,” says one reviewer.
“I called in a creative panic, double booked and on the road away from all my connects,” they went on. “I was instantly relieved after reaching out, I knew I’d be able to deliver because of the amazing service I received from the Le’ Archive staff and personal touch from the owner herself. Let’s not even talk about the amazingly sickening gems pulled for me. SICKENING.”
Marlo Hampton has collected these items over the years. She first got a taste for the luxury lifestyle when she dated an unknown billionaire in her younger years.
The women on the show are unsure how Marlo has continued to uphold this lifestyle. “I don’t think anyone will ever really know how Marlo makes her money,” Kenya Moore said in a talking head. “But she might go out on some dates, and maybe, you know, there’s money exchanged from those dates.”
“Now, I didn’t say sex,” she continued. “But perhaps money is exchanged for her company.”
“She claims to have saved that money from that billionaire she dated over a decade ago,” Kandi Burress says. “She say that money still is lasting. So, she must be pretty good with money.”
What we may truly never know, however, is why Le’ Archive isn’t spelled L’Archive. Maybe it’s a typo, maybe it’s a misunderstanding of the French language. Some mysteries just abide.