As temperatures pick up, so will the trucks' schedules as they
These boutiques on wheels are like food trucks, but instead of filling stomachs they fill closets with apparel and accessories. In Pittsburgh so far there are four of them:
At first, passers-by were hesitant to peek inside and seemed a bit confused.
"They thought it was a
After a few weeks on the road, the trucks started to catch on and attract a varied clientele.
"One of my first customers was an 80-year-old woman and the next was a teenager buying some funky
Like the food trucks, the mobile boutiques strive to cater to a variety of tastes so they can complement each other's offerings rather than compete. They also see benefits in working together, even meeting on occasion to swap stories or participating in fashion truck roundups across the region. One of the first roundups of the season will be the Ladies Night Out event Friday evening at
Separately, many are planning to be out and about most weekends this spring and summer, with the
As the weather got colder, the fun -- and the trucks' following -- tapered off, with many calling it quits for the season in November. Style Truck continued to build its brand by having a booth at the
Truck owners have looked to other cities for tips. Nationwide, fashion trucks come in a mix of looks and sizes, from 1960s-style trailers and 18-wheelers to vehicles that resemble an
Ms. Lugo of Broke Little Rich Girl serves as the association's Pittsburgh
Each truck owner also pulls from her professional background to grow the business. Ms. Breneman is a stylist who travels the country assisting with photo and video shoots. Some of what Roadie stocks are items she has picked up while on the road or used for a shoot. Ms. Zimmerman started making plans for the Vintage Valet about a year ago while a student at
And the trucks themselves? Their backgrounds are just as diverse -- and not nearly as glamorous prior to being converted into boutiques on the go. Style Truck was "green and rusty," Ms. Ging says, and had been used for military purposes and for storing tools. Broke Little Rich Girl hauled tools and wood for a construction business and was bright metallic blue before getting its pink-and-white makeover. Ms. Zimmerman liked the smaller build of a
The trucks try to keep their selections fresh and on trend by going on buying trips in New York and other cities. Earlier this month, Ms. Lugo went to
All try to keep prices affordable and less than $100 with a handful of pieces with higher price points.
With some experience -- and miles -- behind them, the roaming boutique owners are looking forward to booking new appearances and bringing style to more sections of the Steel City.
"People are starting to hear the buzz," Ms. Ging says.
For more from PG style editor Sara Bauknecht, check out the PG's Stylebook blog at www.post-gazette.com/stylebook. Follow her on Twitter @SaraB_PG.
Just in time for Pittsburgh Fashion Week, there's a new mobile boutique on the block.
Earlier this month, Marissa Zimmerman, 31, of Monongahela took her shop on wheels, the Vintage Valet, out for its inaugural spin at the Perryopolis Flea Market. Fashionistas will be able to find it out and about during Fashion Week, including Tuesday at the pop-up fashion display in Market Square from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
"I've always loved fashion," Ms. Zimmerman said. Plus, she likes to travel, so she decided to combine the two. She came up with the idea about a year ago while a student at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh studying fashion and retail management.
"I just started looking on the Internet and realized, my gosh there are lots of these elsewhere, such as California, New York and Texas," she said.
Since early summer, three others have cropped up in Pittsburgh: Roadie, Style Truck and Broke Little Rich Girl. Ms. Zimmerman's truck offers contemporary women's clothing with a vintage twist, so expect to find lots of crocheted looks, lace, pleats and floral prints. About half of the apparel is made in America. Pieces range from about $20 to $55.
"So far, people really like it," Ms. Zimmerman said. "They look inside and say, 'Am I supposed to go in?' It's exciting to see people's reactions."
To learn more, visit thevintagevalet.com.
Written by Sara Bauknecht on .
Day 2 of Pittsburgh Fashion Week took fashionistas from bargain hunting at lunch hour in Market Square to wining and styling for the annual "ManStyle" show at the Pittsburgh Winery in the Strip District.
If you missed any of the fashionable fun, Post-Gazette photographers Bob Donaldson and Julia Rendlemen were on the scene. See their photographs below.
Day 3 of Pittsburgh Fashion Week continues at 5 p.m. on the fourth floor of Macy's, Downtown, where tips on fall fashions for Pittsburgh professionals will be shared.
PROJECT POP UP: FASHION, MARKET SQUARE
Vintage Valet fashion truck owner Marissa Zimmerman holds the mirror for
customer Pam Palmer to see the crocheted vest she's buying.
Lunchtime crowds browse the fashion truck displays.