Ala Champ


From The City Of Dubai To The World: A Three Day Event Showcasing The Best of Streetwear and Contemporary Culture

December, 2017
Sole DXB entrance inspired by Tokyo's neon nightlife | Photography Joshua Lawrence

Bringing cultural heavyweights and an international audience to Dubai, Sole DXB made the city’s Design District come alive for more than three days, with continuing global chatter of the pivotal footwear, fashion and lifestyle fair for its 6th edition.

Set right next to D3 (Dubai’s ever-evolving design district), Sole DXB was built on the urban desert from the ground up. Knowing this, the extremely original set-up they executed in record time, was more than impressive. Inspired by their recent trip to Tokyo, Sole DXB founders Josh, Hussain, Kris, Raj and Nick brought some of the highlights of the city (neon and strong graphics) to the Sole DXB 2017 art direction. Upon entry, guests were greeted by a Shinjuku-style street, lit up by glowing advertisements in Hiragana and Katakana. From there, the Sole DXB ‘city within a city’ was open to explore: a Nike ‘Makers Studio’ set over 2 floors, an art gallery by Black Rainbow, pop-up stores by Melody Ehsani, Amongst Few, Reebok and Kenzo. The Dior 2-floor space even had Peanut Butter Wolf DJing on two separate occasions, and one of the bigger surprises was Anderson Paak from the balcony of the Puma space. If the artists were here because the brands brought them over, it was well worth it.

The musicians performing were none other than Pusha T, Anderson .Paak, H.E.R., Goldlink, Kano and local hip hop acts which brought the noise. Anderson .Paak’s voice was on point, with Knxwledge mixing up the Nxworries songs we all love. Pusha T’s DJ was an unsuspecting highlight, warming up the crowd with exactly what they wanted to hear and more. A mix of international flavours, the main stage was where the crowds were, waiting in the heat or short-spanned rain.

Key players in the game were present at Sole DXB: Bobbito Garcia, Stretch Armstrong, Mass Appeal publisher Peter Bittenbender and Jeff Staple hosted talks, basketball tournaments (19-game) and DJ’ed at the numerous Sole DXB parties.

Hiroshi Fujiwara presented an insightful talk, led by Jeff Staple and Champ’s very own London-based editor Monique Kawecki moderated the talk with LA-based designer Melody Ehsani. Melody, the only woman on the schedule for the talks series, was certainly the power woman that was needed at the streetwear fair. Spending some time at her temporary pop-up store at Sole DXB (the only other physical space other than her store on Fairfax Avenue) it was evident that her brand brings together like-minded men and women, each effortlessly stylish and interesting in the global network.

That’s what we found especially unique about Sole DXB, was that their curation had enabled the global community of like-mindedness individuals making up the streetwear landscape to strengthen whilst integrating with the local Dubai scene. Speakers, performers and exhibitors each brought their unique flavour to the show, contributing with their energy and thoughts to the unconventional landscape.

Cadillac presented an exhibition titled Letters to Andy Warhol, showcasing Warhol’s interest in the car and presence in his work over many years. Cinema Akil presented films such as ‘Word is Bond’ by Sacha Jenkins and Ava Duvernay’s ‘My Mic Sounds Nice: The Truth About Women MC’s’. Here events were looking to educate and inform by looking into the past, and igniting interest for a better future.

In addition to Cadillac (still made in Detroit, USA), commercial partners such as Smart Water and Coco Cala, ensured the event over-performed. Strategic partners such as The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and the D3 Design District themselves, confirmed the Sole DXB team have the support of the city and the recognition to its contribution to the cultural landscape.

We’re looking forward to an even stronger year for Sole DXB in 2018, mark the December dates in your diary now.

Sole DXB locals and international guests| Photography Joshua Lawrence
Film screenings of Word Is Bond and My Mic Sounds Nice were ultimate highlights | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Hiroshi Fujiwara talk moderated by Jeff Staple | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Melody Ehsani talk moderated by Champ editor Monique Kawecki | Photography Joshua Lawrence
King Push talk moderated by Stretch Armstrong | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Sole DXB stores and installations | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Pusha T (President of G.O.O.D. Music) headlining Sole DXB | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Kano headlining the second night at Sole DXB | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Musicians such as King Push, Goldlink, H.E.R., NxWorries, IAMDDB and Teyana Taylor graced the stage | Photography Joshua Lawrence
The Sole DXB team | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Sole DXB locals and international guests | Photography Joshua Lawrence
The Sole DXB team, locals and international guests| Photography Joshua Lawrence
Sole DXB locals and international guests| Photography Joshua Lawrence
Japanese cuisine at Sole DBX | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Shake Shake, Poki Poki and more were at Sole DXB | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Sole DXB locals and international guests | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Sneaker swaps and rare gems | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Kaws' Jordans on the swap! | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Sole DXB basketball court run by Bobbito Garcia | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Sole DXB locals and international guests | Photography Joshua Lawrence
The international community came together for Sole DXB | Photography Joshua Lawrence
Sole DXB set-up in Dubai's desert | Photography Joshua Lawrence
December, 2017