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Best Fashion Trucks
Clothing retailers go mobile with curbside boutiques hawking everything from vintage to designer pieces
Taking their cues from food trucks, fashion merchants are hitting the streets of Los Angeles with more than a dozen roving shops. The dressing rooms may be tiny, but the payoff is clothing and accessories at reduced prices (no leases to contend with). Goods range from local to haute couture, and the trucks’ locations are easily tracked via social media. Try these favorites on for size.
When the powder pink Le Fashion Truck rolled out in January 2010, it was the first of its kind in the city. Former sales executive Stacey Steffe and jewelry maker Jeanine Romo carry versatile day/night pieces (Ellelauri tops, retro-inspired Dear Creatures dresses) as well as hand-screened graphic T-shirts and leggings (from the L.A. label Spectre). PETA-certified wallets by Urban Expressions and Imoshion vegan “leather” handbags dangle above eco-friendly jewelry by Tiffany Kunz and “upcycled” suitcases. It’s like an Anthropologie on wheels. The vibe is ultracasual: Garments sway from ample mirrors; a handmade “Come in, we’re open” sign greets visitors. Often parked near the Santa Monica Pier or downtown’s FIGat7th, Le Fashion Truck also plies its wares at events that include the monthly Venice Meet.
With its twin fitting rooms, flat-screen TV, air-conditioning, and stylish striped awning, Runaway Runway is the closest thing on the road to a brick-and-mortar store. Launched last year by clothing designer Gayle Shea and her entrepreneur husband, Henry, the 28-foot truck, with its distinctive exterior courtesy of French illustrator IZAK, is available for private parties and corporate events (past clients have been Yahoo and the Los Angeles Orphanage Guild) and can be found at some farmers’ markets (Brentwood, Calabasas). At one stop outside a Malibu restaurant, the truck bustled with ladies who lunch perusing Beulah leather jackets, Flying Monkey foil jeans, Linda Rich-ards furs, Dolce Vita Joust booties, and 14-karat-gold Gab+Cos bracelets—all as much as 50 percent below retail.
Started by Jordana Fortaleza, a recent Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising graduate, and pro poker player Tyler Kenney, J.D. Luxe was a hit at last year’s Coachella music festival. The polished wood floor and white shelving of this converted utility van evoke Melrose Avenue, while the stock is proudly boho chic. J.D. Luxe also sells its own line of supersoft “Work Hard, Play Harder” women’s racer-back tanks. Other pleasantly priced best-sellers: empire-waist maxidresses, dip-dyed Big Bad Wolf denim shorts, jewelry from Ises K, and hand-sewn luxury bikinis by California designer Monica Delgado. The roving boutique gets around—you might see it stationed at Personne Complet Salon in the couple’s native Woodland Hills, at Melrose Place, or at farmers’ markets. If you need to return or exchange an item, the truck can be summoned (within geographical reason) to your door.
Thanks to Rebecca Marciano’s fashion industry relationships, her Shop Truck LA is packed with designer pieces at wholesale prices. Marciano (daughter of Guess cofounder Armand) also offers delivery, alterations, and her own PunkTure line of tops and dresses made from vintage fabrics. Shop Truck features a phone booth changing room (it’s a repurposed movie prop—Marciano’s main gig is as a film costumer), while designer purses and locally sourced jewelry are neatly arranged. In addition to appearing at such events as the monthly Downtown Fashion Truck & Sample Sale, the mobile shop can be booked for private parties.