Boston’s annual Fashion Week took place between September 27 and October 6, but four companies skipped the catwalk and strutted straight into the urban-chic new world of fashion trucks. What exactly is a fashion truck? Angela Schipano, who runs the a fashion truck with friend Tiffany Crews, says, “Take the truck, minus the food, throw in kicks and apparel...that’s kind of what [we’re about].” With items ranging from vintage to modern hand-printed, these four companies are taking on the northeast, one sidewalk sale at a time.
ARTichoke, run by Cape Cod sisters Kate and Lizzy Escher, merges their love of all things natural with a passion for independent art. ARTichoke sells screen-printed vests, dresses, tees, and hoodies all designed by local artists and caters to a wide variety of people. “We have some really indie graphic designs, but we also have nature-inspired designs that my Nana rocks in her nursing home, and she’s like 93 years old,” says Kate Escher. The Eschers try to reinvest in the community as well by donating 10% of their profits to the American Community Gardening Association. Their down-to-earth pieces bring a bit of colorful funky flair to classic casual styles.
Lola's Urban Vintage
Nicoletta Lyons, more commonly known as Lola, describes herself as the kind of artist who follows no trends. Her statement is backed by her wild-but-fresh designs, including some fierce feathered heels and metal statement necklaces. “My pieces reflect a girl who wants to be different,” says Lyons, and from the moment you enter her truck, you’ll see what she means. No two pieces are alike, although they draw on what she describes as “urban landscape and vintage” with cheetah-patterns and quirky-cute gauzy layers matched with just the right amount of hard metal to give any outfit a distinct edge.
As a team of women in a predominantly male-dominated field, Tiffany Crews and Angela Schipano are two laid-back ladies bringing their love of top-quality kicks to the urban streets. Both women say that their idea to sell “sneakers off of a truck” started as a joke, but once their idea got rolling (figuratively and literally), there was no stopping them. “We plan to carry our own brand in the future, but right now we just carry a bunch of different brands,” says Schipano. When asked about her favorite sneakers of all time, Crews pointed instantly to a painting in the back of the truck, featuring a pair of Nike Air Jordan 11 Concords. Crews and Schipano are serious about streetwear, but also integrated a few jokes into their truck – the side of the truck is decorated like a shoe tag, and the barcode numbers represent their birthdays.
Brkfst Clb, which stands for “Bringing Resources and Knowledge For Solutions Today,” is a fashion company that is making waves among the city’s youth. Boston native Taymullah Abdur-rahman was working as a prison counselor when he noticed that the inmate population was growing younger and younger. Realizing he needed to make a change earlier in children’s lives, he began teaching life skills in schools and offered the city’s youth a chance to create shirt designs based on individual research into an artist or philosopher’s life. He now sells shirts and hats with these designs, allowing the students to make money off of their endeavors. “At a certain point, a kid wants to make some money, and that’s when they start selling drugs – basketball’s not ever going to stop them doing that. This way, they’re into fashion, they’re into being creative, and they can earn a dollar,” says Abdur-rahman.