I heard about it on Twitter from 4 Hands, a St. Louis microbrewery. I experienced it outside of said microbrewery, surrounded by a handful of St. Louis’ tastiest food trucks. I walked away from it with a new lace print, peplum-esque skirt. And I’m writing about it now because I think it’s one of the trendiest concepts in fashion to hit the Lou.
It’s called Rack + Clutch, a fashion truck. Yes, a fashion truck. Like a food truck, but instead of cooking and selling delicious food, it sells stylish and decently-priced clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Their grand opening took place a couple weekends ago at 4 Hands Brewery’s Food Truck Feast. I heard about the event on Twitter and made a mental note to try to attend. Not only are Mikey and I big fans of 4 Hands beer, but we’ve attended their Food Truck Feast events in the past. They’re always a good excuse to hit the brewery and grab some yummy food truck grub. But this Food Truck Feast was different because Rack + Clutch was making their debut.
So we went, filled up on some brews and food from Seoul Taco and The Fifth Wheel, and then, I ventured into the fashion truck while Mikey went to the tasting room to fill our growler. It probably wasn’t a good idea to leave me to my own devices because once I got sucked in, I knew I was going to have a hard time coming out empty handed.
You’d think a truck wouldn’t be large enough to house a big collection of merchandise. But surprisingly, there was a good selection to cull through. Very of-the-moment printed skirts, floral blouses and maxi dresses. Half a wall dedicated to the cutest clutches in all the latest trends — neon, color block, studs. And stacks of drawers filled with baubles galore. There’s even a fitting room, if you’re brave enough to change clothes behind a curtain while strangers shop only inches away from you. (Which for the record, I did. Anything for fashion!)
And if I wasn’t already impressed with the whole fashion truck experience, Owner Emily Ponath checked me out at the register (Foursquare app, actually. Registers are soooooo passé.) and was sweet as can be.
I think it’s a very cool and brave thing to pioneer such a new concept in St. Louis, and I hope it sees a lot of success. Unfortunately, there’s already been a little bit of an uproar over licensing issues for Rack + Clutch. Uproar enough for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to post about it on Facebook at Twitter. I won’t get into all the details of the debacle. You can read more about it here.
But here’s my two cents. I’m not a true believer of “bad PR is good PR”, but in the case of Rack + Clutch, I do think the controversy is helping to spread the word about what Rack + Clutch is and its ultramodern approach to the fashion boutique. Besides, every soul in history who has pioneered an idea or a movement has always been met with adversity in some way, shape or form. Take the first St. Louis food trucks and the city’s opposition to them only a year or so ago, for example.
All in all, I hope Rack + Clutch gets to stick around for a while and that more people check it out, embrace it and see it as a step forward for St. Louis and the people here who love fashion.
To find out where the truck is headed next, you can follow it here on Twitter.