If you’ve spent any time on Crown Street, chances are you know Honey the airedale terrier. The good-looking pooch is the mascot of The Standard Store and much-loved family pet of its owners, Nicola and Orlando Reindorf. “She’s on our custom tissue paper and side of our carry bags,” says Nicola.
The Reindorfs, former fashion wholesalers, opened The Standard Store in 2011. “We found it hard trying to sell the brands we loved to local stores, so we decided to open our own.”
They set up shop in a historic building that had once housed a laundromat and, before that, a Japanese laundry. “These four walls have always been home to clothes,” she says.
Today, The Standard Store is a much-loved fixture of the Crown Street strip. “We buy brands we like and would wear ourselves,” says Nicola. “I guess we like to think we cater to the creative mindset. We believe in beautiful pieces that will stand the test of time. There’s no fast fashion here.”
Some of those brands include New York labels Engineered Garments and A Détacher, London’s You Must Create, and newer brands such as Japan’s Human Made. “It took us a long time to track that brand down and secure it,” she says. “We seem to be selling more and more Danish brands such as Stine Goya and Heartmade – they’re designers not afraid of colour, which is perfect for the Australian climate.”
In 2017, the Reindorfs opened a new store at Barangaroo, their third (they opened a store in Fitzroy in Melbourne in 2013). “Barangaroo is the antithesis of Surry Hills,” says Nicola. “It’s all very shiny and new.”
But she says the two stores complement each other. “Our Surry Hills store is in a building over 100 years old and our Barangaroo store is in a building only a year old – so they’re very different, but the product is the same.”
The Reindorfs live in Surry Hills with their two sons (and Honey), and you’ll often find them enjoying a wine at The Dolphin or dining on ramen at Gogyo on Albion Street or Thai at Muum Maam. Nomad is a favourite for special occasions.
“We’re pretty excited about the Paramount House Hotel, which is a wonderful addition to the hood,” she says. “W1LL Yoga on the corner of Cleveland and Crown is the place I go to unwind. The classes are pretty unconventional.”
Crown Street is “one of the few streets in Sydney which is still very much run by independent operators,” says Nicola. “That is something that needs to be supported and encouraged.”
That said, Surry Hills is ever changing. “It’s a melting pot of all sorts of interesting people, from creatives to families to the residents of Northcott housing estate,” she says. “It’s the diversity that makes it so special and the reason why we love it.”