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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Seven things to do at Sole DXB 

The streetwear festival returns to D3 for three days of hip-hop, fashion and food

There will be live performances by grime, hip-hop and RnB stars. Courtesy Puma Middle East
There will be live performances by grime, hip-hop and RnB stars. Courtesy Puma Middle East

Sole DXB will return to Dubai next month with a packed schedule ­featuring the best of street culture from around the world.

The festival is set to take over D3 for three days, bringing together food, fashion, basketball and hip-hop with a packed schedule of music, talks and exclusive launches from some of the world’s most recognised brands.More than 22,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event, which will take place from December 6 to December 8.

This year, Sole DXB will be shining a light on emerging ­designers from around the world, with a particular focus on South Africa, after organisers made trips to Cape Town and Johannesburg earlier this year. “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,” says Raj Malhotra, co-founder of Sole DXB.

“South Africa’s recent past has given voice to a new generation of creators who are forming ideas shaped by race, culture and identity. With every community we’ve explored, Sole 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, screenings and presenting brands at this year’s event.”

Here are seven things you have to do at Sole DXB.

Browse the collection

Sole DXB is back for 2010. Credit: Sole DXB
Sole DXB is back for 2010. Credit: Sole DXB

Sole DXB’s concept store Early Retirement is back with its annual collection of collaborative merchandise. The festival has once again partnered with ten globally recognised brands and creators, who have each designed a limited-edition T-shirt. The capsule includes collaborations with the likes of Bobbito Garcia, Hassan Hajjaj, Jeff Staple, Kappa, Mass Appeal, Precious Trust, The Basement, Titan, Young and Lazy, and includes the brand’s own Sole DXB edition. With only 100 pieces in production from each brand, the limited-­edition T-shirts have been created exclusively for the event and will also feature in the newly launched campaign for this year’s Early Retirement.

Check out some new wheels

The all-new Cadillac XT4 will be unveiled at this year's Sole DXB. Courtesy: Cadillac 
The all-new Cadillac XT4 will be unveiled at this year's Sole DXB. Courtesy: Cadillac

Cadillac is one of the sponsors of this year’s Sole DXB, and is using the festival as an opportunity to reveal its all-new vehicle for the first time in the Middle East. The XT4 is its first compact SUV, and has been ­designed with a “young, upwardly mobile” driver in mind, the brand says, making the event the perfect launch pad.

Cadillac and Sole DXB will build on the success of their partnership last year, which saw them bring the Letters to Andy Warhol exhibition to the festival. This year, Cadillac aims to raise the bar with a unique activation offering “a true Cadillac experience”.

Catch the music

H.E.R performing at Sole DXB 2017. Courtesy: PUMA Middle East
H.E.R performing at Sole DXB 2017. Courtesy: PUMA Middle East

Rap legend Nas heads up this year’s music offering. The New York rapper will make his UAE debut on the closing day of the festival. He will be joined by a host of other big names over the course of Sole DXB, including grime star Giggs, RnB legend Blood Orange, hip-hop ­luminary Roxanne Shante, South African rising star Sho Madjozi and promising hip-hop producer and DJ Masego. Also on the bill are New York rap duo Lion Babe and ­Dominican American soul singer DaniLeigh.

Watch a documentary screening

Sole DXB
Sole DXB

The global alternative culture platform Highsnobiety will present Just Dala – Meet Heads of Cape Town, a documentary screening, followed by a panel with the director and ­photographer, Imraan ­Christian, alongside guest Cape Town rapper, YoungstaCPT, and Highsnobiety chief executive, David Fischer.

South African fashion brand, Unknown Union, will host a session with its president and co-founder Jason Storey, alongside the brand’s creative director Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) and art ­historian, Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, whose expertise lies in African and Caribbean arts.

Get inspired

American rapper Nas will headline this year's Sole DXB. Courtesy Sole DXB
American rapper Nas will headline this year's Sole DXB. Courtesy Sole DXB

In addition to the heavyweight music line up, Sole DXB will host a series of cultural talks and conversations, hosted by some of the biggest names in design, culture, fashion and music. Nas and Roxanne Shante will be leading the speaker line-up as well as performing, while Reebok Classic will present two speaker sessions. The first is from Kerby Jean-Raymond, founder of Pyer Moss and winner of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. He will be followed by author and journalist Vikki Tobak, alongside hip-hop photographer Barron Claiborne, who will be holding a book signing for Contact High; A Visual History of Hip-Hop at the Reebok stand.

Tuck in

Alongside the music and fashion, the venue will be full of street food stands offering delicacies from around the world. One of the highlights for foodies this year will be the international debut of cult favourite Sweet Chick, which counts Kendrick Lamar, Cameron Diaz and Mariah Carey among its celebrity fans. Known for its signature chicken and waffles, it has four locations in New York, along with one in Los Angeles, but Sole DXB will be the first time the chain has set up outside of the United States.

Discover new style

Sole DXB
Sole DXB

Sole DXB will be a chance for some of the world’s biggest streetwear brands to launch their latest collections in the Middle East. This year, Puma will launch the Selena Gomez X Puma Strong Girl collection, as well as its latest shapes – the Puma Cell, RS-X and the new adaptation of the PumaCalifornia, the Cali. December 7 also sees the exclusive launch of a spring/summer 2019 collaboration with Dubai-based ready-to-wear label Lama Jouni.

Adidas will be hosting a four-floor “experiential” space, which will have limited-edition drops of the Yung Series, Dragonball Z, Never Made and Kids collections.

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