What’s On previewsSole DXB at Design District Dubai (d3), featuring the best in street culture from the UAE, with art, DJs, style and fashion.

Street Art special
Bold plans for d3
Cool boutiques

At the heart of Dubai’s urban culture is Sole DXB. The lads behind the collective are celebrating all things street style with their most ambitious project yet…

Mention “street culture” and “Dubai” to many people and their thoughts will likely turn to ludicrously wealthy young men racing their Bugattis along desert roads rather than to skateboarders, graffiti artists, sneaker freaks or b-boys. But those in the know know that beneath Dubai’s shiny exterior lies an expanding true grit urban culture.

Helping that along in no small measure are the lads behind Sole DXB, a cool-as-you-like platform for “footwear, progressive fashion and urban culture”. After a couple of annual one-day events, this year the lads have put together a two-day exhibition of fashion, footwear and lifestyle that features workshops and panel discussions from renowned regional and international street wear brands, designers and artists.

Sole DXB – on Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16 – is a living, breathing, interactive exchange of ideas for the city’s community of counter-culture creators, like-minded fashionistas, sneaker freaks and off-the-wall art lovers.“There is a street culture here, and it’s just starting to come to the surface,” says one of the founders, Christian Frealdsson, who met with partners Joshua Cox and Hussain Moloobhoy at a Puma factory a few years ago and decided that instead of lamenting the lack of a street culture scene, they should do something about it. “There are rules that the culture has to find its way around,” admits Christian, “but we’re making it happen.”

Sole DXB offers the chance to get up close to some of the sport and street brands you love, as well as those you’ve yet to discover. But it’s about more than just shopping. It’s where bloggers and artists, trendsetters and boutique owners can get together, discuss, dissect and dream about emerging trends.

The Art Gallery will display works by prominent local and global artists, photographers and sculptors like Remi Rough and Canadian pop artist TAVA, and there will be large-scale murals and art installations. Ten DJs on rotation – including Shef Codes, Megadon Betamax and Dan Greenpeace – will provide the soundtrack and a basketball tournament takes it back to the streets.

Some of the brands exhibiting include Reebok with their Classics range; the guys will have a tattoo parlour, bar and beats. Over at Puma, they will be showcasing their AW14 SELECT collection which is the result of collaborations with House of Hackney, Brooklyn We Go Hard and Alexander McQueen. They will also being giving a first-look at the SS15 collection. Online fashion retailer Namshi are throwing their support behind Movember by showcasing their exclusive range of 200 moustache t-shirts. And at Ray-Ban, their ‘The Order of Never Hide’ global campaign are initiating for the first time in the UAE; all they want from you is to put your treasured hairstyle in the hands of their ‘experts’. The catch? You have no say in what they do.

The best coming together yet of people who share a passion for street style, Christian added that the Sole DXB event offered an opportunity for the city’s cool culture vultures to “express themselves and be part of a community that celebrates a similar lifestyle.”

November 14 and 15
Sole DXB, D3, Dubai Design District, Dubai; 12pm to 10pm. Dhs50. Taxi: D3, Dubai Design District. facebook.com/SoleDXB