s u s t a i n a b l e l u x u r y
Seattle Magazine . Seattle Times NW Source: The Daily Find . Seattle Met . Seattle Picks . Fress Jess . Jenesequa . King 5: New Day NW
Local fashion website creator Shalonne Foster re-imagines 1960s mod in a globally inspired wardrobe of dramatic furs and fierce heels. April 2011
For glam vintage accessories:
2020 Airport Way S
WHY WE LOVE THE LOOK Busy gal Foster, a marketer, interior designer and the creative director for Fashion Network Seattle (fashionnetworkseattle.com), describes her Alexander McQueen–inspired look as “evolutionary,” but two style staples clutter her closet: a vast selection of luxe coats (including her much-loved vintage mink cape and classic trench) and mod, feminine dresses. Foster boldly accessorizes with oversized vintage jewels, colorful patterns and theatrical necklines, offset by one-of-a-kind purses and sky-high boots found on her travels to France and Greece.
THE ENSEMBLE: J. Hickey vintage mink capelet with silk lining and open arm enclosures, and vintage wool dress with black underlay and purple, green and tan print detailing, from Red Light Vintage; antique brass circle chain necklace, Sustalux; silk emerald green purse with ivory beading and bracelet wrist handles, a Sri Lanka find; Tsakiris Mallas two-color leather boots with 3-inch heels and leather wraparound buckle straps, a Greece find. Hair by Melissa Dodd for Gary Manuel Salon, makeup by Tiffany Nash Beauty.
Some people elevate shopping to an art form, somehow spotting the perfect garment in a sea of options. Shop owners, stylists and designers have this talent, and when you find the person whose vision resonates with your personal style, you’ve found the holy grail of fashion. Dana Guyton is one of those shopping geniuses: a diehard, fanatical and intrepid shopper who stocks her online shop, Sustalux, with a veritable treasure trove of vintage and designer “closet candy,” as she calls it. Guyton launched Sustalux two years ago as a way to satiate her love of fashion, make a living, have the flexibility to spend time with family and shop to her heart’s content. “I can literally shop up to 12 hours a day,” Guyton admits. “It’s about the thrill of the hunt for me.”
Once Guyton meets a new customer who shares her love of vintage, she quickly appraises their likes and dislikes, mentally cataloguing them for future shopping trips, where, if she sees something that’s just perfect them, she’ll purchase it and let them know it’s available. "It’s not just about cute, trendy clothing, or even specific designers,” she explains. “I get a sense of who you are and I find things that are just perfect for you.” I can attest to this uncanny knack. I met Guyton at one of her "Closet Candy” sales -- events that combine wine, cocktails, cool women and amazing clothes -- where I purchased a vintage Pucci from her on sale for $60. I also came home with three purses, a rhinestone cuff and a belt. All for less than $170. On my next visit to her Sodo studio, she honed in perfectly
on my style, presenting me with a rack of garments and accessories that made me swoon. Most things fit me perfectly (there’s a learning curve to Guyton’s process, and she’s always adjusting her mental notes of customers based
on how things look and fit), and I ended up with a gorgeous vintage Yves Saint Laurent for $24 and an amazing $36 1980s animal-print blazer for the fall that I absolutely adore. Prices of Guyton’s stock range from $5 to over $600, based
on the item, with a dramatic Givenchy caftan topping out the current online inventory at $575. Most items are under $100, with dresses starting at $16, making luxury a sustainable option for most shoppers. In addition to Sustalux, where anyone can purchase anything she sells online, Guyton also sources interesting and unique vintage items that national and international designers use as inspiration and product development. Discretion keeps Guyton from disclosing the names of the designers she’s worked with, but, she tells me, most of them are well-known houses and brands. Guyton and right-hand online operations manager Allison Linker do their best to populate the site with their impressively massive amount of stock, but the best way to experience Sustalux is by signing up for notification of upcoming Closet Candy sales, or making a private appointment.
You really, really want to be friends with Dana Guyton.
The buyer for and owner of Sustalux in SoDo, Guyton approaches sourcing clothes for her shop much like a personal shopper, often picking up items with specific clients or friends in mind. While most finds go to her clients (she does product development for several major brands), Guyton keeps the most sentimental scores for her place.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND: “Though my clothes are vintage, they aren’t costume-y,” says Guyton. “They make great statement pieces and can be expressly modern with the addition of the right accessories.” The best way to shop is to make an appointment; give her a jingle beforehand and Guyton will pull a preselection of items based on what you are hunting for. Hand-plucked finds will be set aside on your “hoard rack,” and you get first dibs (as in no one else tries them on until you release them). Luxe handbags are cleverly stored near the ceiling—the color-coded selection can be pulled down via a pulley system for petting. Other finds include slinky Dolce & Gabbana dresses, brass necklaces and snakeskin belts. Price points are generally under $100 (with dresses for as little as $16), but given her sentimental streak, Guyton has been known to part with pieces for next to nothing if she feels it’s “the right fit.”
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: A visit requires some planning: Sustalux is only open Wednesdays, Thursdays and by appointment, and is tucked into an unmarked warehouse on Airport Way. Guyton also frequently hosts dedicated shopping nights and will make house calls and office visits on Fridays for those she considers friends (which, luckily for us, is just about everyone).
We’re excited for fall… and especially excited for boots, scarves, structured jackets, and long skirts. Too bad our wardrobe isn’t ready—we’re due for a much-needed shopping trip! Fortunately, a good friend of ours clued us in to Sustalux—the luxurious cure for our wardrobe woes.
Sustalux is a deluxe vintage shopping trip—the gorgeous little studio is filled with eye-catching, show-stopping pieces that seamlessly found their way into our wardrobe. We came home with a beautifully structured, button-down Valentino dress, a magnificent Marimekko scarf, and a luscious leather bag by Carven. And we still had enough left over for lunch and a quick manicure afterward.
We befriended Sustalux on Facebook so that we can stay updated every time they host one of their Closet Candy sales. Until then, we’re making a list of needs and wants, especially since the owner promised to keep us in mind on her own shopping excursions. It’s like having our own personal vintage shopper and stylist; a luxury we could definitely get used to.
1900 Airport Way S.
Seattle WA 98134
“Sustalux is it. Why? It’s like digging around in your glamorous, eccentric aunt’s attic, while she watches over your shoulder telling you to try this dress on, grab that croc bag over there, and to add some fun jewelry, for goodness’s sake! Dana always knows which vintage to wear for the new season and has it in stock.”
~ Shawna Proske, Seattle Picks
Seattle Picks’ Writers’ Favorites of 2011:
In her SODO workshop
Seattle Magazine 9, 2011
"In certain circles, there are certain women who say the names in proud, hushed tones. “Dana. Sustalux.” It’s the only answer they’ll give as you eye a new-on-them ’60s dress or admire a vintage clutch. Dana Guyton curates a collection called Sustalux Sustainable Vintage; the semi-secret no-frills warehouse location is no barrier as far as her loyal following is concerned..."
~ Laura Cassidy
Style Editor Seattle Metropolitain
Editor, Seattle Bride & Groom