Montreal’s Studio Kiff dedicates an altar to local skateboard label Dime

Eruptive Shrine

Young Montreal-based practice Studio Kiff (led by Hélène Thiffault and Rachel Bussin) defines its aesthetic as nonconformist and responsive. Pulling references from a wide variety of sources, such as 1990s normcore and 1970s radical design, the AN Interior 2019 Emerging Designer studio approaches each new project with a tabula rasa mindset that balances decorative and practical elements.

Dime’s first brick and mortar space centers around a stepped altarlike podium. (Arseni Khamzin)

Deeply embedded in the Canadian city’s burgeoning creative scene, Studio Kiff’s clients are fellow entrepreneurs looking to make their mark in a saturated fashion and design world. Young skateboard and fashion accessories brand Dime is no different.

On one side of the store, wood paneling helps encase clothing racks and skateboard displays.

(Arseni Khamzin)

The popular streetwear label called on Studio Kiff to outfit its first brick-and-mortar space. The compact store, which is Bussin and Thiffault’s second interior design project, centers around a stepped, granite podium. This “altar” is adorned with shoe-ware, ceremonial vases, and a personalized bowling ball—items that reference the brand’s meteoric rise. An intentionally kitsch painting of an erupting volcano hangs above this mise-en-scène.

Granite helps define three monolithic display plinths throughout the space.

White tiles clad other geometric elements.

(Arseni Khamzin)

The same granite helps delineate monolithic display plinths and a sales counter, and plays off a muted tile pattern in shadowbox recesses and back walls. Wood paneling covers an entire side of the store to encase a tiered skateboard display, steel shelving, built-in seating, and a miniature mobile rack for baby merchandise.

The focal point podium is adorned with various objects that highlight Dime’s rise to fame.

(Arseni Khamzin)

This unlikely pairing of materials makes for a visually striking scheme that is also conducive to Dime’s laid-back ethos. However ornate and aesthetically sophisticated the space might be, it still exudes a sense of comfort and ease.