The Two of Us | Nicola + Orlando Reindorf
For husband and wife fashion duo Nicola and Orlando Reindorf, the transition to working together happened very naturally. What started with Nicola lending a hand to help Orlando with his paperwork, has lead to a unique partnership in retail fashion which has spanned almost twenty years. Today, as co-owners of The Standard Store, the couple are an inspiring force; trailing the globe together, hunting down the most beautiful international fashion products to fill their two stores in Sydney and Melbourne. In the current retail landscape and against many odds, this couple is going strong, showing that love for what you do can go a long way. We caught up with Nicola and Orlando to find out more about their creative union, the traits they value most in one another and what fashion really means to them.
Hi Nicola and Orlando - tell us about how you first met? Orlando: We met the old fashioned analogue way, in the Soho Bar in Potts Point in 1988 .
Nicola: On the dance floor… way before the lock out laws and in the pre ‘swipe right’ days. We danced till dawn and then went swimming as the sun came up. It was purely platonic for quite a few years, but we reconnected after I visited London after living in Barcelona for 5 years.
What first sparked the decision to work together? Orlando: We were living in London. I had been working for major international fashion brands but wanted a change of pace, we came Sydney for a holiday over summer and within 6 months I had quit my job and we’d packed up our London flat. I wanted to use my fashion contacts in London to start something in Australia. We couldn’t afford to employ anyone so Nicola had to work with me, whether she liked it or not!
Nicola: We didn’t really make a conscious decision to work together, it just evolved really. I was working as a stylist and also had a newborn baby.
What’s the best part about working with your partner? Orlando: I trust Nicola a hundred percent - in her style and her ethics.
Nicola: We always have each others back. Business can be tough sometimes, so it’s reassuring having someone there for support 24/7.
What does fashion mean to you? Nicola: Fashion is such an integral part of my life, it’s a way of expressing yourself - how dull would we be without it?! I realise some people think it’s superficial, but when you’re wearing something you feel wonderful in, it can make your day. I can’t understand why one wouldn’t chose to embrace fashion - it brings such happiness!
Where do you gather inspiration, is there ever any shortage? Orlando: I never get short of inspiration, the world is constantly bombarding us with images and ideas.
Nicola: Travel is definitely where I gather most of my inspiration, every time I feel a little bit stagnant, we go on a buying trip and I come back totally rejuvenated. I think it’s incredibly important to step outside of your bubble and look at things differently - whenever I come home after a trip I look at things with a fresh perspective and that’s very inspiring.
What’s your proudest achievement so far? Orlando: Surviving in business for almost 20 years is a good feeling .
Nicola: When we arrived here from London 18 years ago we had nothing other than a dream to have a better life… and we’ve achieved that. I’m proud that we’re living the life we want to lead with very few regrets. Our shop motto is ‘a little bit of love goes a long way’, we’ve put a lot of love into what we do, and I hope that shows in our business.
Nicola, what do you most admire about Orlando? Orlando has an incredible work ethic, there is not a lazy bone in his body.
Orlando, what’s one unique quality Nicola brings to the partnership? Her defiant Gemini sprit and forgiving nature.
I usually wake up at: Dawn.
My perfect day would involve: Skiing in the morning and lying on the beach in the afternoon.
I am inspired by: A lot amazingly!
Best advice I’ve ever received: Buy quality - it only hurts once.
I couldn’t live without: Nicola.
I recently discovered: I may not be super-rich but at least I ‘m reasonably well dressed.
On my wish-list: Orlando: The old Porsche 911… more a dream than a reality.
I’m currently reading: I have a growing pile of half read books on my bed side table including Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Hariri, a couple of Sci-Fi novels and the latest Monocle magazine.
And listening to: My DJ friend Dan Lywoods spotify playlist Playlister FM.
My guilty pleasure: Red wine - but I don’t feel guilty about it!
My mantra is: Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.
I usually wake up at: Too early!
My perfect day would involve: Sunshine, family, wine, good food and the sea.
I am inspired by: The sun coming up every day.
Best advice I’ve ever received: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
I couldn’t live without: Love.
My favourite daily ritual: Climbing into bed after a fulfilled day.
I recently discovered: That everything is ultimately going to be OK.
On my wish-list: A little beach pad over looking the Mediterranean - either Mallorca, the South of France or The Amalfi coast… I’m not fussy!
I’m currently reading: The Observer on my iPad. I hate to admit it, but I can only read on holiday nowadays - that’s a sign of the times!
And listening to: The Teacher’s Pet podcast.
My guilty pleasure: Hendricks gin and Fever Tree tonic.
My mantra is: Breathe in and breathe out.