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article imageThe story of fashion trucks, the new American shopping craze

By James Walker     Sep 24, 2014 in Lifestyle
Walking along Manhattan's Fifth Avenue on a Tuesday or Thursday lets you experience a new, growing all-American trend: fashion trucks. Parked by the side of the road, you can find a full boutique and dressing room inside. Here, we look at their success.
Business Insider says that there are now around 500 fashion trucks operated by various companies over 50 states. Their existence was first noticed around four years ago but have expanded rapidly in recent times.
One of the first, Le Fashion Truck, was created in 2010 and operates around LA. It houses a full woman's boutique, including an area to try items on in private, and quickly attracted attention, prompting its creators Stacey Steffe and Jeanine Romo to create the America Mobile Retail Association to encourage other companies to follow suit. Today, there are 103 members.
The  Le Fashion Truck  travelling boutique
The "Le Fashion Truck" travelling boutique
Le Fashion Truck
The group aimed to prevent the idea from falling into the trap of a single-summer style fling — great while it lasts but soon gone. It seems as though as they have succeeded as the number of registered "outlets" is only increasing.
The truck in Manhattan is called Nomad and was created by 26-year-old fashion-conscious Jessie Goldenberg of New York. She had the idea after seeing an article on fashion trucks on the "Today" show. After searching Craiglist, she found an old clothing delivery truck and renovated it into a mobile fashion store, crowdsourcing $5,000 of the funding on Kiva and Indiegogo. It now offers what Goldenberg calls "funky and bohemian chic" and has links with 30 to 50 designers. Customers are easy to attract as everything is priced at less than $100.
The Nomad Fashion Truck
The Nomad Fashion Truck
Nomad Fashion Truck
The quirky trend has been noticed by many in the field. Part of the success and growth of the trend can be attributed to how easy the trucks are to create with only minimal expenditure required. Angela from Iconic Fashion Lounge, a network of data on the fashion industry, says "It is possible to run a fashion truck on a budget of only $1,000 a month. Your only significant costs are fuel and maintenance for the truck, tax and a roadside parking permit. Many owners break even on their startup cost after just a few months of trading."
This was quickly found to be true for Nomad. Goldenberg paid $70,000 in total before the business was operational in April 2013 but had recovered it all by the end of the same year. Nomad normally welcomes 20-50 paying customers through its doors each day before simply driving off for the night.
The idea of fashion trucks then is one that is appealing to both designers and consumers. They are a quirky new vehicle to explore on the street and an easy, profitable business for start-up fashion stores looking for a radically different storefront. With them seemingly here to stay, maybe mobile shops are about to become more common on American streets. You can let us know about your views on truck shopping in the comments.
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