By Lucas Williams, Staff Writer
The hottest items this year are fashion trucks. Entrepreneurs across the country are taking boutiques to the busy streets of America’s major cities. These wheeled clothing stores operate similarly to the food trucks you see around BU, but sell trendy clothes and style instead of greasy food and diabetes.
More similar to large vans than trucks, they drive around cities and set up shop in a different part of town each day. For added convenience, fashion truck owners use social media to let customers know where they’re parked on any given day. But if you’re desperate to find the nearest fashion truck nearby, you can check out the conveniently named website, fashiontruckfinder.com.
To open up shop, owners park their truck curbside and usually open the trucks’ rear doors to display the myriad clothing packed inside. Sometimes mannequins are placed outside to let passersby know that cupcakes or illegal substances aren’t being sold out of the back of the van. The layout is similar to a typical clothing store with clothes in one area, accessories in another and dressing rooms squeezed against the walls.
Shopping in a mobile boutique sounds all fun and good, but really: how great can a dress you bought out of the back of a truck be? Well, pretty awesome. Since most fashion trucks are independently operated, new designers provide most of the trucks’ merchandise. This makes for unique, quality clothing and accessories available for purchase. But fear not designer lovers, big name companies like Topshop operate fashion trucks all over the country too.
Since fashion trucks are a relatively new trend, there are no local laws that pertain specifically to them. This makes operating a fashion truck very blurry when it comes to the law and where they can park. But the law isn’t the only threat to fashion trucks. Most independently owned fashion trucks are used, but newly renovated, vans. This makes it easy for these trucks to break down, sometimes in very shady parts of parts of a city. Unfortunately, a little pink boutique stuck after hours on the mean streets of Los Angeles isn’t exactly going to intimidate criminals.
Fashion trucks could very well catch on, though I don’t think they’ll move past semi-novelty status. It’s hard for me to not see them as ice cream trucks for grown-ups. They provide all the style of fashion with the Bohemian soft-grunge feel of shopping out of the back of a van.
I would love to see fashion trucks take over city roads, but now that clothing stores have gone mobile, what’s next? Movie theaters on wheels? Gyms? Schools? Although demand probably isn’t too high for mobile schools, the truck trend may catch on in other industries. But until mobile shops start dominating, these little fashion trucks will keep chugging along.