Hold onto your very fashionable hats, Buffalo: introducing the Fashion Truck
blog by Ben Kirst • September 21, 2012 @ 1:24am
Buffalo has embraced the food truck shake-up—these free-range refectories are often the ideal establishments for a twenty-first century clientele that’s too busy to go to a crowded restaurant for lunch every day but is too discerning to eat at some generic company cafeteria.
So what’s the next logical step? Local entrepreneur Crista Botticello is wagering that Western New York women will embrace the opportunity to do some serious shopping when the store literally comes to them.
Botticello—the 21-year-old owner of Ooo La La Boutique in East Aurora—unveiled her new mobile store on Thursday with an appearance on WNLO-TV’s Winging It! Buffalo Style television program and a visit to the Niagara Square kickoff of Mercedes-Benz of Buffalo Fashion Week.
“I wanted to expand my business, but I was trying to think of a new, innovative way to do it,” Botticello said. “I was really inspired by the food truck revolution, so we took fashion to the streets.”
Botticello—a Dean’s List student at Buffalo State College—opened Ooo La La two years ago at the age of 19. Since that time, she has carefully plucked choice pieces from Manhattan runway shows to create inventory that is fashion-forward yet still comfortable to the women back home.
“Everything is modern trends,” Botticello noted. “When i go to New York City, I hand-pick all the pieces. I try to pick things that I would wear, or that my mom would wear. It’s a little bit of different style for everyone.”
On Thursday, Botticello put her style sense to the test, agreeing to outfit a pair of local women—Winging It! co-host Emily Guggenmos and Buffalo.com intern Sarah Burke.
Both of the test subjects came to the session sporting somewhat conservative looks. Guggenmos was set for a morning in front of the camera in a black suit, while Burke was ready to blend into the old-school environment of the fourth floor of The Buffalo News (home to sales, marketing, classifieds and Buffalo.com) in a black top and gray slacks.
...and here’s Sarah:
Guggenmos was first to go. She confided that her typical style sense tended to be a bit on the practical side.
“I usually like stuff that I can convert for both my time outside of work and my time at work,” she said. “Multi-uses tend to work best for me. Places I tend to shop are J. Crew, BCBG, those types of places, depending on my mood for the day.”
Would Botticello play to the conventional co-host or the freewheeling gal-about-town? The look she selected clearly had the South Dakota-via-Tucson transplant fired up:
And yes, in case you were wondering, there is a fitting room built into the mobile store.
The look that Botticello selected for Guggenmos wouldn’t work on the air—morning talk-show hosts tend to steer clear of animal prints—but the diminutive blond did look fantastic in a black, grey and zebra mini-dress with matching frost-friendly tights.
“This is a lot of fun,” Guggenmos said. “This isn’t something I would be able to wear to work, unfortunately, but it would be something fun to be able to go out on a Friday night in. I really, really like it. And these leggings have fleece on the inside so not only are they cute, but they’re very practical.”
Next up was Burke, a Canisius College student who has to look sharp on campus, at her internship and around town. Botticello dug right into her vehicle’s inventory to find the proper pattern.
Burke was pleased with the results:
“My goal is to have more fashion trucks open, and not just food trucks, because we need food and fashion,” Botticello laughed. “Basically, I just want to find new ways to save a little bit of money and not to have another storefront location, to be different and keep the vibe going about my store.”
It’s working so far.
Winging It! can be seen at 8 a.m. weekdays on CW-23 WNLO-TV.
Photos by Donald Schwartz,