The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Cynthia Rowley takes her store on the road

Modified UPS truck rolled into Highland Park Village Thursday

A boutique on wheels rolled up to Highland Park Village on Thursday.

The vehicle, essentially a tricked out UPS shipping truck, is making a cross-country road trip packed with fashion designer Cynthia Rowley’s spring 2010 collection.

The temporary store front set-up shop in Dallas, after making the trip from New York City down to Miami, up to Atlanta and then across the south to Houston – with some impromptu college town visits in between, at schools like Auburn and the University of Georgia.

The bright blue and pink truck adorned with a black and white striped awning, located right next to Vince and across from Starbucks, will remain stationary until Monday, April 5, and then it’s headed west.

Take a step into the bed of the truck and you’re immersed in Rowley’s fun and carefree designs – shoes, dresses, sunglasses, jackets, bags, belts, shorts – a diverse and colorful collection that is perfectly fitting for the road trip adventure it has embarked upon.

“It is something a lot of designers are doing now, and it’s a really good way to spread the idea of your line around the country without having to go to all the trouble of opening a store there to see if it gets a reception,” Rachel Philippetti, who is operating the truck while it’s parked in Dallas, said.

The idea of temporary storefronts, or “pop-up shops,” has become a recent phenomenon in New York City, Los Angeles and summer vacation spots like the Hamptons, Martha’s Vineyard, Palm Beach, Nantucket and Miami. 

The current economic climate creates the reason behind this idea, since the commitment is short and ideal for a new business venture.

Not to mention that the truck brings customers in, simply because shoppers are intrigued with the concept and want to see what it’s all about.

“Most people have been a little confused and they have walked in and have been like what are you guys doing here?” Philippetti said. “That is the kind of reception we want: we want people to be curious about it and for them to tell their friends to go see this truck that is parked in the parking lot.”

Although the innovative concept brings in shoppers, not everyone in the neighborhood is happy about the arrival of the adventurous and quirky mobile store.

“I think that some people in the village have been really excited to have us here, while others haven’t been as excited,” Philippetti said. “That’s just my impression, some people think it’s silly and they take it more seriously than Cynthia Rowley does.”

One thing is certain: the bold truck is hard to miss.

Inside, the shipping truck is decked out with a funky couch and ottoman, two fitting rooms and of course loads of merchandise to last the long haul.

“We have pretty much the entire spring collection out on the rack,” Philippetti said. “We have a couple of sizes out, but we have a really full back stock as well.”

Back stock of the merchandise is important for times like this past weekend, when Philippetti said the truck was so packed, lines to hop aboard and shop began to form.

“We had a really good response on Saturday,” she said. “The other girl that was working had to stand outside because there was so many people inside she didn’t have room to be in here.”

The spring 2010 Cynthia Rowley collection features flashy sequin shorts, conservative linen dresses and everything in between.

“We have had a lot of younger people coming in and they are buying more of the shorts and the sequins, but we have also had some of the older crowd and they are buying cocktail dresses and the cardigans,” Philippetti said. “We have different stuff for different cliental.”

The pop-up shop works for many reason, but the biggest seller beyond Cynthia Rowley’s feminine flattering designs is the atmosphere.

“People think it’s just plain fun to buy a designer dress out of the back of a truck,” she said.
Be sure to checkout Cynthia Rowley’s “Shop on Wheels” before it rolls out on April 5.

If you’re interested in other pop-up shops around Dallas, swing by POP UP 310 in West Village.

The venue is open only until June 1, and works as a gallery and display space for local artists, writers, musicians and all things creative.

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