Dubai is known for a number of things, but street culture isn’t one of them. It’s not that it doesn’t exist – you just have to look a little harder to find it. – Sole DXB
The most ambitious Sole DXB project to date took over Dubai Design District last weekend. I was busy in the office and couldn’t make it there unfortunately. However, Level Shoe District was present to celebrate the best of the UAE’s street culture with a bespoke pavilion and a series of activities.
From humble beginnings four years ago, Sole DXB has grown to become Dubai’s underground platform for urban fashion, footwear and culture, with this year’s two-day exhibition featuring workshops, food trucks, basketball tournaments and live music from the likes of American rapper Xzibit.
Hosting a VIP sunset cocktail party, Level’s guests sipped Piper-Heidsieck champagne and browsed through a curation of the exclusive Pierre Hardy sneaker retrospective, the first of its kind, previewing the pioneering designer’s limited edition work since 2008 up to date, as quoted by Pierre Hardy himself:
“I create limited editions because the demand became so strong and so vast that I needed to express a more exclusive, sophisticated idea of what a “designer sneaker” could be. Each season we launch a limited edition with a more complex design, made with rarer material and techniques.”
Guests were also able to lay their hands next season’s Joshua Sanders, Maison Martin Margiela and the ever popular Raf Simons for Adidas with a special pre-order opportunity available while DJ Brooklyn dropped a soundtrack of relaxed hip hop beats.
Singaporean punk-inspired skate artists SBTG (Sabotage) touched down in Dubai to join Level Shoe District for the weekend, turning 12 fresh pairs of Air Jordan into customised, wearable urban art pieces, a.k.a. “Desert Mayhem”.
Known for its luxury footwear, Level Shoe District has long been an active contributor to Dubai’s street culture too – providing the only outlet for sneakerheads to engage with brands like Gourmet, Golden Goose and Common Projects.