Selling style on the street
Philip Ellison 29 July, 2013 at 02:07
The food truck is a cultural and culinary phenomenon that has become so widely covered and referenced in the States, hipsters are on the verge of declaring it “played out”. Luckily a new trend may be just around the corner, having drawn more than a little inspiration from the convenience and popularity of food trucks: the fashion wagon.
Fashion In Motion offers exactly what you would expect from the name. Operated by Gina Carter-Lilja, Fashion In Motion is a Chicago-based, mobile shopping experience “for women who love the opportunity to get stylish clothes from a boutique, and do it on a lunch break.” After all, adds Gina, “when you come home from work, a lot of women don’t have time to shop.”
Emily Benson is another entrepreneur who has taken her business on the road; The Fashion Truck has been roaming the streets of Boston since 2011. Emily has taken care to ensure that every item sold in The Fashion Truck is affordable, with a cap of $100 USD, optimising the chances of those impulse purchases. Tiffany Nicole McCrary, former owner of The Garment Room in Soho, had a similar idea; her Mobile Vintage Shop in Bushwick, New York, doesn’t sell anything over $10.
Other mobile fashion businesses include Cailey Breneman’s Roadie in Pittsburg and Nneka Green-Ingram’s Celebrities Mobile Boutique in Harlem, which also provides mobile makeover services.
The fashion truck is proof that small business owners who continually adapt their approach stand a more sustainable chance in a tough climate. Boutiques in particular, which more frugal consumers may see as frivolous, need to prove they can stay relevant. Last year, Shoptiques owner Olga Vidisheva co-opted the Free Hugs Movement to promote her business, sending models out into New York City to embrace passers-by and spread a little brand love. “Hugs are about basic human connection,” she said, “and we want to connect with our customers.”
Both the free hugs campaign and the fashion truck trend indicate that keeping shoppers engaged and interested in clothing is becoming an increasingly active process. Rather than relying on people finding their site or store through word of mouth or browsing, these dynamic entrepreneurs are putting themselves where they can’t be overlooked – directly in your path.