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With the Internet abuzz with word of Smak Parlour's soon-to-roll mobile shop, we can't help but wonder: Are boutiques-on-wheels Philly's next big thing? After all, the food truck scene has seen tremendous success here, so why wouldn't the warm welcome be extended to curbside fashion ?
Keep reading as traveling pop-up pioneers Kristie Lee Krause and Sue Oneto, the names behind Philly's only mobile vintage boutique, Wild Hunt Vintage, discuss this new trend in retail, give us some tips for buying vintage, and dish on the past life of their business' HQ, a bad-ass '79 Ford Midas RV.
Tell us what Wild Hunt is known for.
We specialize in well-made men's and women's vintage garments, shoes, accessories, and linens from all eras. Our shop carries predominately USA-made clothing; leather goods from Italy and Spain; and traditional, hand-dyed items from India. We sell garments that we ourselves would want to wear. Our customers also really inspire us and we welcome any requests for specific items, we do the hunting for them.
Why did you go with a traveling pop-up as opposed to brick-and-mortar?
We love the idea of being able to bring our shop directly to where our customer is, like festivals, street markets, local hang-outs, and parks. It allows us to interact and collaborate with other businesses, restaurants, and artists at different locations, so that every shopping experience with us is special. There's also the opportunity to travel outside of the city with our store, and as we both love to travel, it's perfect for us. Perhaps one day we will have a brick-and-mortar, but for now we like to stay on the go.
Do you think the mobile fashion movement will take off in Philadelphia?
I would say that there is definitely an ever-growing interest in mobile anything, be it food, or clothing, or pet grooming—it's a wide open market. It's been happening for a while in other cities (LA , Chicago, NYC), and we've seen great success right here in Philly. It's a wonderful way to be much more accessible. Selling via Instagram is another way for us to keep our clothes accessible to our shopper.
You're cruising around town in a '79 Ford Midas RV. Was it love at first sight?
We discovered her in Trenton, after searching far and wide. Our main interest in this particular vehicle was the fact that this guy had completely redone half of the body while still maintaining a definite '70s vibe throughout the cab and back end. The original bathroom has been removed and in its place is our dressing room! The back wall has been converted to a drop down ramp, perfect for loading in and out. The living area is your standard hang out area with a table, two couches, the original bed/storage space above the cab, updated counter tops,hardwood floors, microwave and refrigerator.
Did she live a long and storied life before finding herself as Wild Hunt's headquarters?
She belonged to a family man who had several plans for her, including using her as a camping oasis for his six daughters and as a transportation vehicle for motorcycles. There are about 60,000 miles on her (soon to be many more!)
Any tips for buying vintage?
Kristie: I say put your best dollar forward on special occasion pieces and turquoise—anything with weight to it. Choose pieces that best reflect your personality, but don't be afraid to get the fringed cowboy boots. If you've always wanted a pair, chance are you can pull them off ! Be confident, be yourself, you are beautiful.
Sue: I think the key is to enjoy the hunt! You may need to pick through some items that might not be right up your alley, but that there is definitely something out there for everyone. Vintage pieces generally also look awesome when paired with more modern items, and they really allow for everyone to give their own personal touch to any given outfit. Things become much more personal, individual style is easier to express when you are working with one of a kind pieces as opposed to cheap, mass marketed clothes.
Where can shoppers find you next?
We'll be at Johnny Brenda's Fishtown FestivALE on Satuday, June 8, from 12pm to 8pm; You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
· Wild Hunt Vintage [Facebook]
· Two entrepreneurs go mobile with attire [Philly.com]