Cynthia Rowley fashion truck
The Cynthia Rowley mobile store. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / August 27, 2010)
Fast fashion has taken on a whole new meaning lately, with designer racks rolling into driveways; truckloads of athletic shoes, fitness experts and treadmills, touching down at food festivals; and full-fledged runway shows staged on the backs of flatbed trucks.

Taking a page from the gourmet food truck playbook, apparel and accessories brands are increasingly opting to barnstorm the highways and byways 21st century style, putting their products in front of people nationwide, supported by social networking tools that help get the word out and hoping to reconnect with customers where it counts — in their own backyards.

"On many levels it's the ultimate in customer service," says fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, whose "mobile style unit" — a converted courier truck that serves as a boutique on wheels — has been on the road for the last year. "It's more convenient, more immediate, and more of an experience than buying online to actually bring the store to our customers."