Antoine Asselin and Adam Green. Photo via Instagram
Montreal skate crew Dimestore has gained renown at home and abroad since 2009 with their three skate videos: The Dimestore Video, The Deuce and Turd Season, which premiered last fall. The flicks tell the tales of kids with amazing talent skating around the world, from grimy Montreal alleyways to Paris’s spots. The crew is comprised of some of Montreal’s best skaters — JS Lapierre, Charles Rivard, Andrew McGraw and Antoine Asselin, to name a few, along with filmer Phil Lavoie.
Back in 2011, photographer and blogger Vincent Tsang came aboard to direct the crew’s marketing and clothing line. Now, Dime’s wares are making the rounds on the streetwear Internets, with appearances on sites like Complex and Four Pins.
Their most recent release, a T-shirt co-designed by blogger and artist JJJJound, features an illustration of a young girl kicking a rock. Scrawled underneath is “Dime ruined my life.” Accompanying the T-shirt is a five-panel cap that has apparently caught the eye of celebrities.
I sat down with Tsang to discuss the collaboration and Dime’s plan to take over the (skateboard) world. Apparently they don’t have one, but it’s happening anyway.
Verity Stevenson: How does the collaboration with JJJJound build the brand, and how did it come about?
Vincent Tsang: I’ve always wanted to work with Justin [Saunders, of JJJJound] on something, and as a group, me, Phil and Antoine, we all agree that Justin’s aesthetic is amazing, and him coming from Montreal, it just totally made sense for us. We don’t want to go in one straight direction where everything needs to fit a predefined mold. We wanted to take as many different kinds of aesthetics and make them work for Dime. That’s always been the Dime mentality: We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and I think that’s what’s going to work for us. It happened really organically. We saw one of his drawings on Instagram — it’s like a little kid kicking a rock. And it’s been a while that we’ve been thinking about the [phrase] “Dime ruined my life.” It’s the funniest shit.
VS: Why was it the right moment to do the collaboration?
VT: That’s the whole point right now — we’re trying to build this crazy team that’s in Montreal, that covers everything from
skateboarding to music. That’s the only way we can put Montreal on the map. One brand is never going to be able to put Montreal on the map, but if we can make the entire (group) come up at the same time, then that’s what’s going to work. We’re working with Justin. We’re also working with Tommy Kruise on a mixtape. We want to do music — we want to do a little bit of everything. We don’t want to limit ourselves to being a skate brand and to being a clothing brand.
VS: Four Pins likened you to the next Palace or the next Supreme. What do you think about that?
VT: I mean, it’s an honour, for sure. Those are two brands that we have the utmost respect for. We love Palace and Supreme — they both have been tremendous at building their brands, although I do believe we’re different and have a spot on the map.
VS: Complex said, “It’s nice to see a brand with promise keep all their projects close to the hip. Too often hyped brands fizzle out prematurely because of an oversaturated market.” How do you plan on keeping things that way?
VT: We’re trying to create our own path regardless of what the “market” suggests, and that’s something that takes time, and I think that’s what was meant in that sentence. We’re not jumping on the next thing. We’re taking our time coming up with our own ideas that are not irrelevant, but not exactly what the market suggests is a hot commodity right now.
VS: Why the focus on Eric Riedl on the website?
VT: Eric is basically an Internet hero. He has a very distinct style that no one can ever, ever compete with. He can land the best tricks. People worship Riedl. ■