You’ll Trucking Love the Anti-Mall: High Fashion Gets Wheels

fashion truck

Some of LA’s trendiest high fashion entrepreneurs are catering to a new breed of fashionistas: those who would buy their couture fresh off a truck. 

First there were the urban food and juice truck crazes. The original image of a simple food truck evolved into an onslaught of delicacies and specialties. Food trucks gathered in neighborhoods across the nation, creating a new foodie culture. The same could happen with the budding trend in mobile boutiques. High fashion trucks are rolling out across the nation, from D.C. to Honolulu and in between. The vehicles are filled-to-the-brim with hand-picked fashions, often with a theme.

High Couture Cargo

To find fashion trucks, you need only look as far as downtown in any American city. The trucks’ retail cargo can range from retro swimwear to vintage dresses, yoga gear or lingerie. Fashion truck entrepreneurs often showcase handmade clothing by local designers alongside curated items fresh from local flea markets.

Fleets of fashion trucks might soon be spotted all over Los Angeles, a city whose glamor and grit match well with the prospect of buying high fashion clothes from the bed of a tricked-out truck.

Monique Cruz owns Selvidge, a successful Los Angeles area fashion truck. “We’re promoting being mobile, a new way of shopping and a creative way of bringing the product to the customer,” Cruz told ABCNews. Selvidge focuses on one-of-a-kind vintage clothing, and the truck drives out to annual festivals like Coachella to sell its wares.

Driving Fashion Forward

The mobile trucks have an added level of excitement. Following the trucks on social media, fans of specific trucks can become fashion chasers. A truck’s fans will drive to meet it at different locations throughout the year, creating a unique relationship with the most atypical “truck drivers” you can imagine. These truck drivers will likely never be caught in a flannel shirt and suspenders; they’re more likely to sport chic gear and act as your personal stylist as you browse their selections. Successful fashion truck retailers tend to follow similar marketing models to those of successful food truck owners. They create a strong social media base, generate buzz and maintain close relationships with their shoppers.

Sustainable Upcycling

These road-ready fashion racks could become the anti-mall version of convenient shopping. Their vintage cargo represents a sustainable alternative to fresh-from-the-factory mall purchases. When fleets of fashion trucks unite at events, they form a kind of mobile market; you’ll have options and convenience without the high environmental impact.

As fashion trucks proliferate, perhaps they will follow the example of their sisters, the food trucks. It is estimated that approximately 60 percent of food trucks in operation are biodiesel powered. This cuts down on the overhead as well as the carbon footprint. The stylish cruisers that carry your future outfits might become even more fashion forward without a footprint.

Rules of the Retail Road

Fashion trucks are subject to the rules and regulations of the American Mobile Retail Association, and with their skyrocketing popularity, the association is rapidly modifying its rules.  Nomadic boutiques are much different than other types of retail outlets. More than 300 fashion trucks have joined the association, which aims to offer consulting services and create community among truck owners. Because most cities have strict rules about where retail trucks can and cannot park, there are many legal considerations for these mobile shop owners. Despite the occasional red tape, it looks like fashion trucks are here to stay.

Ilse Metchek, president of the California Fashion Association spoke recently about her perspective on the truck trend, drawing attention to their similarities with food trucks. “They appeal to the impulse buyer, the same people that like to eat standing up, it’s the ultimate fast fashion,” she said to the Press Telegram.

In the case of high fashion trucks, it’s “fast fashion” that has to follow the speed limit.

To get on board and start riding virtually alongside these chic vehicles, you can follow @LeFashionTruck on Twitter. They’re LA area fashion truck pioneers and they’re constantly on-the-go. On the other coast, check out @GypsyDeLaLune, the “vintage vagabond.” Chances are, your own favorite local fashion truck will also be twitter-pated when you “follow” it.

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