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Fashion trucks bring styles to shoppers on the go | TribLIVE.com
Fashion

Fashion trucks bring styles to shoppers on the go

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, July 25, 2013 8:21 p.m
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Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review
Jackee Ging poses in the back of her Style Truck, a mobile clothing and accessory store, on July 23, 2013 in Scott Township.
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Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review
Accessories and clothing hang inside of Jackee Ging's Style Truck on July 23. The truck was converted into a mobile women's store that goes to events and parties.
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Gwen Titley | Tribune-Review
Jackee Ging's Style Truck sits outside of her mother's home in Scott Township on July 23. The truck was converted into a women's clothing store and travels to parties and events.

First came food, now comes fashion.

Pittsburgh’s trend of putting things people love on wheels has expanded to the boutique business, as several local ladies are taking their stores on the road. Targeting stylish shoppers on the go, fashion trucks are traveling shops that bring their goods directly to the consumer. Three made recent debuts in the Pittsburgh region: Style Truck, Broke Little Rich Girl and Roadie.

“They have these in California, Minneapolis, Boston. It really seemed doable. I thought Pittsburgh would be just right,” says Jackee Ging, owner of Style Truck, which launched earlier in July at Brighton Heights California Market.

Samantha Lugo, owner of the Broke Little Rich Girl truck, says the format is appealing to people seeking fun new ways to shop.

“People are looking for unique ideas,” she says. “It was time for something innovative.”

Cailey Breneman started Roadie, specializing in vintage and contemporary wares, out of her Jeep Liberty in June. She’s now acquired an RV, which will make its debut in August.

Breneman says she got the idea for a mobile fashion business from food trucks, which have been growing in popularity in Pittsburgh in recent months.

“I don’t like to be tied down to one place,” says Breneman, a stylist who lives on the South Side.

Breneman says vintage items are popular with shoppers these days, a trend she attributes to the dip in the economy.

“People really don’t have as much money,” she says. “Also, the ‘90s are really coming back with the grunge trend.”

Breneman likes her events to feel like parties, with food and drinks.

“I like to do them during the day and outside,” she says. “That was my vision — to have a brunch shopping event.”

Style Truck lives up to its name, with a pop of purple, a chic logo and the motto “Have Fashion, Will Travel” drawing eyes of motorists every time Ging takes it for a spin. Inside are rows of adorable dresses, flowing blouses, trendy tunics and all the necessary accessories. Ging has parked it for a variety of events, including private parties, charity fundraisers and more. She hopes to work with local businesses to set up shop in their parking lots for special events.

Ging, of Dormont, has a background in marketing and business development as well as years of experience working in retail. Last summer, she saw a mention of fashion trucks in InStyle Magazine and thought it would be an ideal meshing of her skill set. She bought the truck — formerly used by a school and the military — and converted it into a tiny boutique, complete with air conditioning and a changing area.

She sets up racks of clothes outside, and fashionistas also can step into the truck to browse the display of clothes, purses, jewelry, scarves, wallets and more. Highlights include the Fredd + Basha vegan bags from the California designer, organic cotton clothing from Blue Canoe and sturdy yet chic sportswear from Great White T. Ging also sells Mishky jewelry, handcrafted in Colombia with glass beads or woven on ancient looms with a variety of vibrant colors and materials, such as silver, brass or recycled rubber and tin.

Many of the goods are local, such as the jewelry by Mt. Lebanon’s Designs-By-Samantha and Uniontown’s Honey in the Wood. Ging also gathers items from designers in New York and Atlantic City.

“I love fashion and clothes,” she says. “It’s ever-changing. And you can never have too much of it.”

Ging’s goal is to appeal to shoppers of all ages.

“My customer is really the woman on the go,” she says.

Lugo, of Robinson, was inspired to start her business after seeing a fashion truck in New York City in the spring. Her focus is on trendy but classic pieces as well as vintage-inspired items, all within an affordable price range.

“I want to let people know that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good,” she says.

Lugo’s love of fashion was cultivated in her youth. Growing up in a predominately female family taught her about the many style options that fashion affords each individual, she says.

Lugo, who has a background in advertising and marketing, relies on social media to get the word out about her business. When she’s not attending events like the upcoming Shadyside Sidewalk Sale or Pittsburgh Arts and Car Festival, she’s typically stationed in the Strip District. She’s also available for private events like ladies nights and bachelorette parties.

Lugo travels to New York, where she’s from, frequently, to shop the latest fashions. She carries brands such as Tuck, Double Zero and Ark & Co. She also features local designer Necessity is the Mother.

She hopes to provide many options to fit into any woman’s wardrobe.

“Everyone has their own style, but I know my style changes with my mood,” she says.

She says she realizes the fashion truck concept is trendy, but hopes people can see past the initial novelty of a boutique on wheels.

“What’s inside is just as unique,” she says.

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or rweaver@tribweb.com.

Categories: Fashion
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