The School Bus-Turned-Boutique Everyone Is Talking About
Eric Brown Jr. sells ’90s nostalgia from a refurbished school bus, Backtrack Vintage
Photo by Camille Marie
Just like the wheels on the bus, the trends in fashion go round and round—and Eric Brown Jr. is retailing 1990s garb all over town. The Navy vet and Pacific Beach resident converted a 1994 Ford school bus into a mobile boutique, named Backtrack Vintage.
It’s a 17-foot ode to ’90s nostalgia, tricked out in pre-Y2K pop culture apparel. Think snapback hats for pro sports teams, Gucci and Tommy Hilfiger branded tees, band shirts for artists like Carlos Santana and Rod Stewart, tees for films like Jurassic Park and Pocahontas.
Brown’s even been known to overhaul the whole vehicle for a specific theme, like all-superhero apparel for Comic-Con. But his personal sweet spot is anything vintage Nike—fanny packs, windbreakers, caps, and so forth.
“I’ve loved the brand since I was a kid. When I look at those old pieces, they’re bright, bold colors, and I’m a huge fan of that. Vintage clothes are a real memory, and they speak differently to different people.”
He scours estate sales, flea markets, and swap meets even across state lines for the cool-kid treasures, and just this summer launched an online shop that ships the goods in tissue paper printed with San Diego bus routes. Next up, he’s rolling out gift cards—aka “bus passes.”
Find the bus at Kobey’s Swap Meet on August 3 and follow Backtrack Vintage on Instagram for weekend whereabouts.