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It’s got Sole

An intriguing clash of fashion, art, music and street culture, Sole DXB is one festival that packs a unique punch. Everyone’s favourite fusion festival is back! Sole DXB is once again set to get cultural pulses racing with its eclectic mix of all things urban – from fashion and music to art and sport. In a city touted for embracing a melting pot of cultures, it’s apt that this hybrid festival was brought to life right here in Dubai. Now attracting around 22,000 visitors, Sole DXB has definitely come a long way since its humble start in 2010. Returning to its home at Dubai Design District (d3), the three-night, two-day event takes place from December 6 to 8.

Each year, the festival draws on themes from a range of captivating destinations – think Tokyo, New York and London – and this season is no different. For 2018, a new generation of creatives take centre stage as Sole DXB celebrates artists and cultural movements from South Africa along with India, Turkey and Nigeria. Raj Malhotra, co-founder of Sole DXB, says: “We made multiple trips to Cape Town and Johannesburg, connecting with designers, artists, musicians and creators in each city, learning their stories and digging into their culture. We feel that South Africa is a good representation of what street culture looks like when it’s still organic, in cities with rich and complicated histories. South Africa’s recent past has given voice to a new generation of creators that are forming ideas shaped by race, culture and identity.” 

He adds: “With every community we’ve explored, Sole DXB has looked to build a direct bridge between our city and theirs. This exchange of ideas will be showcased through our talks, live music programme and screenings at this year’s event.” Although the festival has grown to encompass a variety of artistic elements, street culture and style is still very much at its heart, and considering the hold athleisure continues to have over the fashion world, we’re sure the planned launch of several new collections will draw in the crowds.

Expect hotly anticipated activations from adidas, including collaborations with Yung Series, Never Made, Yeezy and Dragonball Z. On the luxury side, Dior and FarFetch will be on hand with a series of exclusives while Puma is set to launch its Selena Gomez X Puma Strong Girl collection. There will also be several emerging brands supported, including Leaf Apparel and Unknown Union from South Africa, Almost Gods and Nor Black Nor White from India and homegrown UAE talents including Precious Trust and Amongst Few. And while it’s a noticeable factor, there’s more than just seriously good street style on offer. Music wise, visitors can expect a host of hip-hop heavyweights, including rapper Nas and Orange Blood as headline acts, as well as performances by American R&B duo Lion Babe, rapper Giggs and singer DaniLeigh.

Last year, Sole DXB teamed up with The Andy Warhol Museum to present its final exhibition of Letters to Andy Warhol, while a partnership with community cinema platform Cinema Akil offered an intriguing film screening on women in hip-hop on the opening night. This year, visitors can also expect several captivating cultural events taking place throughout the event while sports fans can also look forward to Sole DXB’s basketball tournament Sole Ball Above All Classic.

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