Saturday, April 11, 2015

Smak Parlour: Fashion Truck Innovation

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Hello! Have you guys heard of Smak Parlour? I was first introduced to Smak Parlour early in my freshman year here at Philadelphia University. Smak Parlour is a Philadelphia boutique that sells feminine, retro-inspired clothing and accessories for women. And from that short description, Smak Parlour may sound like any other stylish boutique in Philadelphia but I can guarantee it's not. What makes Smak Parlour stand out from other fashion retailers in the area? Their innovation and fashion truck. 

Yes, you read that correctly. Smak Parlour has a fashion truck. Now, the concept is relatively new so I'll explain it to those who have never heard of a fashion truck. Well, you know what a food truck is, right? The concept behind a fashion truck is very similar to the idea behind food trucks. A fashion truck is essentially a retail store packed up into a truck that travels around the surrounding area. Customers who pass by the parked truck and want to shop, can climb aboard and walk through and browse the merchandise on board. 

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Like I mentioned earlier, I was first introduced to Smak Parlour my freshman year here at Philadelphia University. One day in October, the truck stopped by campus and I marveled at the idea of mobile fashion. You can check out photos of me posing with the truck HERE. While I didn't get a chance to browse through the clothing and accessories in the truck that day, they did visit again later that year and I was able to shop around. And it is definitely a unique experience! 

I believe that fashion trucks are very innovative and are paving the way for more mobile fashion and expansion. I predict that in a few years, fashion trucks will be more prevalent; only a few years ago, specialized food trucks were uncommon but somewhat of a "food truck revolution" took place and now food trucks are all over the place. Fashion trucks are beginning to pop up more and more frequently. 

Besides offering stylish clothing and accessories for women, Smak Parlour and their fashion truck are helping to lead the revolution of mobile fashion along with various other fashion trucks. One can only imagine the numerous ways that a future prevalence of fashion trucks could affect the fashion industry. Fashion retailers already offer merchandise in brick-and-mortar locations as well as in digital environments; the next big thing is offering mobile fashion. 

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Clearly, innovation is an element of importance to Smak Parlour's founders and owners, Abby Kessler & Katie Loftus, and they have recently embarked on another innovative project to add to their shop. Smak Parlour has launched a KickStarter campaign to raise $15,000 for an upcoming "Cut & Sew" collection. The collection features six pieces that use high-performance athletic fabric. The innovation of the collection truly lays in the fabric of the pieces. The fabric is described as "strong, flexible and forgiving. It would be perfection in the best-ever yoga pant but equally remarkable in a beautiful dress. Our fabric is machine washable and dryable, wrinkle-free, shrink-proof, fade-proof, odor-resistant, cross-seasonal, stretches for comfort and smoothes and hides bumps."

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Smak Parlour has introduced this new style to their customers in order to offer their customers the best textiles used in their garments as possible. And just look how cute the designs (featured above) are! The playful, retro inspired designs are reminiscent of the 1950s and evoke images of lively American diners. 

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Besides the innovation and uniqueness of Smak Parlour, I love the fact that it is local in Philadelphia. Smak Parlour only has one location in Philadelphia and a fashion truck that goes around Philadelphia. They do offer their merchandise online but primarily focus on catering to the females of Philadelphia. For their collection, Smak Parlour collaborated with three local Philadelphia designers and artists. They worked with Philadelphia-based street artist, Joe Boruchow, Smak Parlour employee, Chelsea Goich, and Philadelphia artist and graphic designer, Dave Holley. If their "Cute & Sew" collection is funded, it will be produced in Philadelphia.

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To launch this collection, they need to raise $15,000 by May 2, 2015. They have currently raised over $8,250. You can check out their Kickstarter and donate HERE. Wanna see more of what Smak Parlour is about? Stop by their location in the Old City neighborhood at 219 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Or check out their site HERE

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What do you guys think of Smak Parlour and their fashion truck? Are you excited about their new collection and textile? 

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