Published on September 10th, 2012 | by Talancia Pea1
Style on the Go: How Fashion Trucks Are Bringing Looks Curbside
Fashion trucks are revolutionizing the retail experience to bring us the hottest and latest looks right to our doorsteps and/or curbside. The “stores” on wheels are set up in restored shells of trucks, complete with shoes, accessories and more. From New York to Los Angeles, city officials are busy introducing ordinances to make room for these increasingly popular “mobile boutiques” on streets and city plazas.
Truck owners rave about the much lower overhead cost of maintaining a smaller, mobile space rather than a traditional “brick and mortar” store. Mike Lydon, Principal of The Street Plans Collaborative, describes these mobile retail locations as “tactical urbanism.” Entrepreneurs experiment with implementing a change or solution using limited funds and, depending on customers’ reception, decide to later invest in a permanent structure. Therefore, fashion trucks are great for those wanting to test the market with their fabulous finds before fully committing to signing a long-term lease, hiring staff, etc.
Gasoline-Fueled Generators Are So Last Year!
While I haven’t seen a truck outfitted with off-grid energy sources like solar panels or wind turbine charged batteries, a pedal-powered generator and, of course, sunlight, are sustainable options to providing customers with a well-lit place to shop. A fashion truck owner could swap her stilettos for flats and start pedaling to power up to five lights for 40 hours using Nuru Lights’ LED-based units, for instance.
A truck owner will also want to keep temperatures comfortable, and natural cooling techniques offer a low-cost, low-energy option. Parking near shaded areas when possible, opening the windows for a natural breeze and covering windows and the roof with reflective coating will help keep the temperature down. Adequate insulation levels ensure a comfortable shopping environment year-round.
Mobile Containers Keep on Giving
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen previously owned mobile containers transformed into retail locations. Dekalb Market of Brooklyn was one of the first open-air markets housed solely in shipping containers. The market is made up of an incubator farm, food market, a performance venue and a collection of eateries and work-sell spaces. The mobile business idea is even extending into personal fitness and wedding services.
Designers, stylists and entrepreneurs have taken a hint from food truck owners, and are boldly claiming their place in the fashion world. Be sure to follow or befriend your favorite truck(s) on their social media pages to get exclusive news and deals, and say goodbye to long check-out lines, messy fitting rooms and crowded stores.