The fourth installment of Fashion Truck Fest was this weekend hosted by Liberty Station restaurant on Washington. The quarterly gathering of mobile boutiques has become the place for fashion truck enthusiasts to browse their favorites. I wasn't sure what to expect, being that this would be my first fashion truck experience, but I think I am in love.
Much like their older cousins food trucks, fashion trucks have an upper hand on store locations in that they can take their wares to their fans wherever they are, be it a festival, local bar, coffee shop or lunch time hot spot. They are the perfect hybrid of product and convenience befitting the fast paced lives we all live, which accounts for their increasing popularity nationally.
In response to the exponential growth of mobile retailers across the country, Stacey Steffe and Jeanine Romo, owners of Le Fashion Truck in Los Angeles, created the American Mobile Retail Association, a national membership organization for fashion trucks. The organization sets standards, codes of ethics, and provides support for newbies and resources for all interested in mobile boutiques. They also assist in the education of city officials unaware of the benefits of mobile retailing and, in some cases, working against the burgeoning industry.
As for Houston, fashion trucks are feeling the love. Earlier this month, Greenstreet Downtown launched a long term partnership with Houston fashion trucks and art and music festival Pop Shop Houston has been a prime spot for mobile boutiques to reach their audience.
And now a little about the boutiques I checked out at Fashion Truck Fest, which will be returning to Liberty Station in June. Proceed with caution, they are all incredibly addictive.
Urban Izzy The quintessential indie boutique. The kind you stumble upon while antiquing on Montrose. Chock full of boho-chic finds by local artists and designers, Urban Izzy is the spot for unique gifts. Sarah Platt was one of the first to open a mobile boutique in Houston and has made the rounds parking at various festivals and the Creeks - both Onion and Dry - in the Heights.
Basiques Previously a brick and mortar store in Uptown Park, owner Sheri Falk made the shift to mobile to fit her customer's busy lifestyles. Basiques offers ready to wear staple pieces, like crisp button downs and the perfect pencil skirt, but can also tailor and customize your purchase. Mix and match fabrics and prints to create hundreds of combinations.
Park Boutique Created by fashion law student Lillie Parks and sister Viola Kincade, Park Boutique is the place for edgy designs, punchy prints and statement jewelry - they have a wall o' jewels. The boutique can be found at local festivals, Greenstreet and on the campuses of the University of Houston and Texas Southern University.
A Hippy Heart Vintage Danna Hudson has taken her fashion truck 'Lucy' from Houston wine fests all the way to West Texas' Canton Flea Market. Her lifelong love of vintage fashion culminated the three month adventure that was renovating a beat up trailer into one of the coziest mobile shops I've ever seen. The vintage pieces have a '50s and '60s feel and are all hand-picked by Hudson herself. Truly a labor of love.
Shoe Bar Coryne Rich loves shoes, loves travel, and wanted a unique type of business, the Shoe Bar mobile boutique was born. Known for its wide assortment of footwear styles and vegan leather handbags - you heard it right, vegan leather - the Shoe Bar has become a incredibly popular on the fashion truck scene. Shoe Bar is also the source for a few hard to find brands, including Monserat De Lucca, Sergio Zelcer, and London Trash.