Store Watch: Studio Brillantine

August 10th, 2009


The other week we decided to swing on over to Parkdale to check out Studio Brillantine’s new location. Ferdinand Suzara’s shop is filled with amazing design icons and objects of interest. This month (August) SB is having a 15% off sale, so head on over there and say hello!

Who are you?
Ferdinand Suzara…owner

How long has the store been open?
12 years now… 11 years at the old location
1 year at our new location

Why did you open your store?
I have always wanted to experience a shop like this but they are too serious as in museum shops…so here it is a hybrid. Regarding the sensibility of SB… the element of surprise and of course a sense of humour. I like independent shops that provide a unique experience rather than a mall experience. The product mix and selection is due to my fine arts and design background [Emily Carr University of Art & Design]. I have an interest in the design object and its role in our culture and that’s why I also have the museum permanent collection pieces beside the Japanese anime vinyl figures.


What can people expect to find when visiting your store?
It is basically an international design gift shop with nicely designed objects, museum pieces, award-winning products for your home from around the world. We also carry personal items like designer watches, wallets,  etc…as well as novelty items to make you smile. The international brands that we carry are Alessi, Georg Jensen, Iittala, Stelton, etc. and these are side by side with fun items like Tintin, Barbapapa, Moomin and Japanese novelty items.


Who are your customers?
Our customers are ones who appreciate well-designed products and like a different shopping experience. We have of course our regular customers who are very devoted to our shop as well as the designers, architects, design/fine art students etc.

Favorite moment while running your store?
Each day is appreciated…even after 12 years…it doesn’t feel like work.



Worst or most Embarrassing moment?
More funny and amusing…we sell some of the Taschen sexy books that everyone gravitates to and this one day there were about 4 different customers who kept on dropping the same book after looking at it…

Is there an item you regret selling?
Yes…some limited edition Philippe Starck items that are no longer in production and a Jeff Koons balloon dog sculpture…


Name something  you sell in your store, that you also own in your own home?
Nearly all items that I use at home are sold in the shop.

What are you really interested in right now?
To continue to provide a different experience in Studio Brillantine. It is very satisfying to give our customers a good, positive and life-affirming experience seeing them smile and enjoy the shop even if it is just to browse. I guess in this case it can be said about shopping.


Studio Brillantine
1518 Queen Street West
Toronto, Canada
M6R 1A4

M-Sat. 11 am-6 pm
Sun. 12-5 pm

T 416.536.6521
F 416.536.1984

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