Why Not In Laguna?

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Our guest columnist proposes bringing a mobile fashion truck to Laguna Beach’s streets.

LeFashionTruck (12)

By Beth Fhaner

Since January 2011, Le Fashion Truck, Los Angeles’ first mobile boutique, has been setting up shop in various locations throughout the city. Created by Jeanine Romo and Stacey Steffe, the bubblegum pink truck—complete with an on-board dressing room—has attracted dedicated admirers with an eclectic selection of clothing, handbags and accessories by emerging designers, as well as vintage merchandise. Le Fashion Truck is no isolated phenomenon; in fact, Los Angeles now has a half dozen fashion trucks cruising its streets and delivering a variety of styles to the region’s stylish shoppers.

Inspired by the popularity of mobile food trucks, Southern California’s fashion truck fleet has grown in scale in recent years. Travel past Orange County to the coastal community of Leucadia in Encinitas, Calif., and you’ll find It’s A Luv Thing mobile boutique. After purchasing a used Volkswagen bus, owner Kamie Archinal shuttered her brick-and-mortar storefront and took her business mobile. Now, the “Luv bus” can be found across San Diego County selling Kamie’s signature Luv Thing T-shirts, affordable denim, locally made jewelry and other accessories.

Laguna Beach boasts several stylish clothing boutiques that carry a wide range of labels, but we (along with the rest of Orange County) don’t yet have a fashion truck cruising around our neighborhood. What would it take to get a mobile boutique operating in our chic coastal city?

Stacey and Jeanine Summer 2013

With their casual yet sophisticated beach lifestyle, I think local women would appreciate the fashion truck experience, and especially the opportunity to discover original or vintage merchandise and some new designers. Private parties, girls’ nights out, special events and holiday shopping all could be enhanced by a fashion truck.

And besides setting up shop in different locations throughout the week, many fashion trucks are available for street fairs, festivals and farmers markets. A fashion truck would be a welcome addition to Laguna’s vibrant host of local events.

Of course, before any mobile truck could open for business in Laguna, the owners would have to obtain a permit/license from the city, adhere to municipal rules and regulations, and pay the appropriate city and/or county taxes, too.

“I see the business model expanding into other retail, aside from fashion, including home goods, art, et cetera,” Stacey says. “I anticipate it will only continue to grow and that more cities will adopt legislation specific to mobile retail trucks. ”

In Stacey’s eyes, the mobile retail movement benefits both shoppers and vendors: “We enjoy interacting with our customers and being a part their community,” she says. “Our shoppers feel comfortable asking for our opinions when they try something on, and for styling tips when purchasing outfits. I love that our mobile boutique offers that type of customer service and shopping environment.”

So, fashionistas, take note: The founders of Le Fashion Truck are willing to add Laguna Beach to their route, and they’re available for parties, special events, fundraisers and more. To advocate for fashion trucks, contact the mobile boutique (lefashiontruck.com) that started it all in LA, and they’ll get their wheels rolling to Laguna. LBM

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