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Hobo Handbags to Launch Mobile Showroom

The Maryland-based handbag and accessories line will begin its Mobile Hobo tour, a traveling trunk show, in May.

The Mobile Hobo truck.

STREET STYLE: Hobo is hitting the road. Next month, the Maryland-based handbag and accessories line founded in 1991 will launch Mobile Hobo — a “food truck for fashion,” said cofounder Koren Ray — a traveling trunk show that will showcase a seasonal assortment of Hobo bags and leather goods.

This story first appeared in the April 29, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The quirky initiative has a backstory: In 1991 the brand’s founder, Toni Ray (Koren’s mother), cashed in her life savings, bought a beat-up van and traveled to New York with her daughter to sell the first generation of Hobo handbags. Mobile Hobo, consequently, recalls the brand’s humble beginnings. The company is now run by Koren and her husband, David Brewer.

The tour will start in the brand’s hometown of Annapolis, Md., and travel around the East Coast, with plans to hit the West Coast next winter, as well as various college towns and campuses in between. Housed in an old-fashioned milk truck, the mobile showroom will stop at several of Hobo’s boutique accounts for special events.

A mix of handbags, small leather goods and jewelry — including the brand’s best-selling Lauren wallet — will be on display, with prices that range from $20 to $298. While the truck won’t be selling merchandise directly, customers will be able to view the full product range and place special orders. Ray hopes to open up the vehicle to direct sales eventually.

For now, Mobile Hobo will only be open during events at select stores to be announced, though Ray said she has other plans: “We may open it to the public on a daily basis and post the location on our Facebook page or Web site as a way to track [us].”