Orlando Reindorf had an idea. After a few wines one Friday night he asked Melbourne artist Al Stark to paint the window of The Standard Store, a shop he'd recently opened with his wife Nicola in Sydney's Surry Hills. It is this kind of spontaneity and self-belief that has seen the couple expand their successful fashion distribution agency, Flying Standard, founded in 2000, into the stylish shop that is standing on Crown Street today. The two businesses promote many fashion labels that previously haven't been available in Australia. Meet Orlando and Nicola...
Which five words best describe you? Handsome is as handsome does.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I built and designed a trade fair stand for a London company selling Australian workwear in Paris, and I ended up working the stand, I fell into sales, and eventually was sales director for Diesel in London. I then moved to DKNY, but we came here to celebrate the millennium, and on my return to London I felt I needed a change, so I gave up the stability of a full-time job in fashion in London and moved to Australia. Sydney did not seem to offer the same career opportunities to me then so I thought I should set up my own business, using all my London contacts, selling their brands here.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Work hard, be passionate about what you do and don’t worry about success because if you do the first two things right then success will follow.
What’s your proudest career achievement? To date it has to be realising that the best person to work for was myself, starting my own business and making it work.
What’s been your best decision? Business-wise, going to the pub to meet a mate. I ended up meeting another person and picking up a great fashion brand out of the blue – it has made my business.
Who inspires you? Nicola, my wife, Clara, Karina, Jen and Brielle - five super cool women who make coming to work very easy.
What are you passionate about? Life - you only get one go at it.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? The Queen.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To spend more time abroad.
What are you reading? Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks.
Which five words best describe you? Nostalgic, busy, communicative, Gemini mother.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? A family friend kindly helped me out after I dropped out of fashion design at college(I hated the technical side of it: pattern-making and sewing) and gave me a job as a stylist on commercials and shoots. I managed to get by, and travel, I ended up in Barcelona where I had a shop with some London friends. I then managed the X-Large store in Sydney, then back to London doing lots of things: styling, a kids label, working as a fit model for some great labels. I have been really lucky I have always managed to travel and get work I enjoy along the way.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: when you look back at the things that have gone wrong you can see the positive outcomes of negative obstacles.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Realising I am living my dream.
What’s been your best decision? The one I made last, which will be superseded by my next one.
Who inspires you? It's a cliché but Orlando and my beautiful sons Cosmo and Zephyr.
What are you passionate about? Living life to its fullest.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I don’t think I want to meet anyone famous. It could ruin my romantic perception of them. I would have liked to have met my grandfather; he died when my mother was a child. He is part of me, but I don’t know him at all.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To be able to balance my urban Sydney life with a more rural European life, drinking rose at midday, strolling through through ancient villages and having siestas after lunch.
What are you reading? Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.
images courtesy of the standard store