The bulk of the discussion when it comes to fashion and streetwear tends to focus on brands, stores and events emerging from the world’s “key cities”—the likes of New York, Los Angeles, Paris, London, Tokyo and Milan. But, nestled about 400 miles north of New York, one skate brand has become the object of adulation from observers outside the skate scene. Dime has become a streetwear staple, often compared to its New York and London-based brethren Supreme and Palace, while gaining fans (and square footage) in the space where fashion and skating intersect. The Montreal-based brand has gone from a loose collective of skaters known for their “humor-first, skating-second” clips to an internationally-recognizable brand stocked by the likes of Dover Street Market and tapped by DC Shoes to help re-energize a dying brand.

It feels dishonest to refer to Dime as a skate brand, not only because the brand has been adopted outside of skateboarding, but because Dime is more than just a “brand.” Dime’s true beginnings pre-date the original Dimestore Video, circa 2009—rather, short clips began to surface online around 2005. The original crew consisted of skaters who had known each other since their early teens and had grown up skating various spots together; the skate community in Montreal is tight-knit, something helped by the fact that Vans, whose Canadian offices are based in Montreal, is extremely active in the local scene. Antoine Asselin, Phil Lavoie, Bob Lasalle, Hugo Balek, Charles Rivard, Eric Riedl and Alexis Lacroix made up the original Dime Crew and all featured in The Dimestore Video, along with various clips that made their way to Instagram and skate sites.

Over the next half decade, culminating with The Dime Store Video, the Dime Crew honed its visual style, garnering attention for its ’90s-style skating and equally nostalgic aesthetic. The clips, and The Dime Store Video itself, were grainy, often alternating between aspect ratios and intercut with segments that focused on anything but skating. Whether intentional or not, Lavoie, the man behind the camera, steered Dime in a direction that made it refreshing and helped shape its enduring appeal; the crew never took itself seriously, its videos were as much about fucking around and documenting the weird stuff the guys would see (even using bums as skate props) as they were about landing technical tricks.

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