Christine Tran and Colton Dixon Winger, the design duo behind Seattle personal styling agency Cuniform (wearecuniform.com), met while working on the sales floor at cult luxury retailer Totokaelo. They credit the store (acquired by Herschel Supply Co. this past fall) with shaping their style ethos of dressing for the individual, not the newest trend, and investing in pieces that are ethically made and of high quality, so that clients will wear them for a lifetime. “Being able to articulate how the lines in Totokaelo worked with our clients’ daily lives—but also enhanced their own set of values—that was a huge turning point for me,” Tran says. “Examining yourself through clothing, that level of introspection, is something kind of singular about Totokaelo that really resonated with us and we used as a jumping-off point for Cuniform.”
What sets Cuniform apart is that Tran and Winger offer services for clients with any lifestyle or at any income level. “Our clients range from 20-year-old musicians to 65-year-old retirees, and we help each of them source the right product from the right place,” Winger says. Aided by partnerships with local retailers that include Baby & Co., Green Eileen (Eileen Fisher’s recycled clothing program) and The RealReal, Tran and Winger begin each client’s service with a comprehensive wardrobe audit, dividing garments into four categories: keep, resell, consign or donate. “Everything is filtered back into the community,” Winger says.
Tran and Winger liken their fashion philosophy to the farm-to-table approach many Seattleites pride themselves on with food. “It’s the exact same conversation,” says Tran. “Just like ‘I got these tomatoes from a farmers’ market in Madrona,’ that voice becomes ‘I got this garment from Baby & Co.’ Both express the importance of supporting independent businesses that support independent vendors that support jobs in the U.S. that support beauty and artistry and craftsmanship in a different way.”
Shirt: Haider Ackermann cashmere T-shirt, Totokaelo
Jacket: A.P.C. (purchased from INA NYC designer consignment in New York City)
Trousers: Vintage (Value Village, Northgate, 12548 Lake City Way NE; 206.365.8232; stores.savers.com)
Shoes: Vintage Converse (Lucky Vintage, Ballard, 5424 Ballard Way NW; 206.789.8191; luckyvintageseattle.com)