Gone are the days you had to visit two different stores for a latte and a pair of chinos. Two of Sydney’s latest hybrids are Rapha, a cafe and one-stop shop for cycling paraphernalia, and Butter, a sneaker and fried-chicken joint. And now Cafe Rumah in Surry Hills has added a fashion store, called 15sheets, upstairs.
On the ground level there is a Malaysian cafe serving Asian-Cuban sandwiches (fat with rich five-spice roast pork, mustard and melted Swiss cheese) ; Isaan quinoa salads with Thai pork sausage, fresh mint and pungent fish-sauce vinaigrette and yuzu-and-mint sodas. Upstairs is the men’s lifestyle and clothing store.
Owner Riszal Nawawi and his brother-in-law, Lee Keong Yang, imported the idea from their store in Kuala Lumpur.
15 Sheets stocks international brands Descendant of Thieves, Weekend Offender, Save Khaki, Lifetime Collective, Paper Denim & Cloth and Australian brand Local Supply.
Nawawi and Yang have deliberately chosen brands that manufacture a limited number of garments. So there’s less chance you’ll bump into 10 guys on the train wearing the same T-shirt as you. “Descendants of Thieves only make 400 pieces,” he says. “We tell them how many we need, they allocate us a certain amount and once they’re sold, they’re sold.”
But for Nawawi, it’s about more than just coffee and clothes. While fusing fashion and food is something that interests him, he wants to build a brand with his family, and offer men relaxed wardrobe options in a dynamic environment. “We give the customer a different experience – they can stroll in for a takeaway coffee and leave with some clothes.”