DUBAI: Walking into Sole DXB, Dubai’s sneaker exhibition and urban festival, was like walking into industrial Los Angeles, with metal hangars, hot dogs, tacos and, most importantly, sneakers taking over Dubai Design District over the weekend.
The event opened its doors Thursday to sneakerheads from across the region who wanted to get their hands on the latest limited-edition trainers the three-day event had to offer.
Exhibition goers were dressed in their most stylish outfits, each strutting their stuff in street-style designer outfits and sneakers across the venue.
From Adidas, Puma and Dior to 5ivePillars and Nor Black Nor White, international and local vendors had the opportunity to display their products to event goers in unique and enticing ways.
Adidas built a four-floor, pipeline-encased pavilion that featured a customizing corner, a mini football arena and a roof top lounge overlooking the entire event against the backdrop of Downtown Dubai.
Dior’s giant, illuminated bumblebee stood out among the pavilions as the most chic and sleek of them all, while online-retailer Farfetch offered an array of exclusive products — with Supreme shirts and bags displayed behind cages in an airport terminal-style set up.
Local brands 5ivePillars and Shabab also had smaller booths that lined the walkways between the main attractions, showcasing unique, regional designs that drew in eager shoppers.
Crowds gathered on Friday night as UK grime artist Giggs made his way through the stalls before taking the stage after British singer Blood Orange engaged audiences and US artist Masego wowed viewers with his saxophone skills. Regional artists, such as Lebanese-Filipino rapper Chyno and Reem Ekay, also lit up the main stage with their original tracks.
Saturday’s music line-up is to be headlined by Brooklyn-born rapper Nas, who is the biggest name at this year’s event. Other rappers, such as Joey Bada$$, will perform at exclusive, invite-only parties.
Apart from the music and fashion, talks were given by special guests and designers about the world of sneakers and how the event, now in its sixth iteration, got to where it is today.
Sole DXB runs from Dec. 6 – Dec. 8 in Dubai’s Design District.