Your Ultimate Guide to Sole DXB 2023 | Savoir Flair
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Your Ultimate Guide to Sole DXB 2023
article Lounge at Sole DXB | NIKITA KLIUKVIN
by Sarah Haddad 4-minute read December 6, 2023

Join the rhythm of Dubai.


In the heart of Dubai, Sole DXB has evolved into a cultural phenomenon that encapsulates the spirit of youth, fashion, and contemporary music and art. This annual festival has become a powerful bridge connecting global communities through creativity and an tapestry of intersecting artistic forms.

A leading voice for youth and contemporary culture in the region, has now expanded into an experiential brand-building platform recognized as a cultural catalyst. What started as a humble grassroots movement has now seen over 35,000 attendees from over 80 countries come through its doors, making it a melting pot of diverse cultures and a global hub for the creative community. Now, as it gears up for its 2023 edition, Sole DXB promises an unforgettable experience celebrating 50 years of Hip-Hop.


From Les Benjamins' immersive pop-up to thought-provoking talks with industry icons, we've curated the ultimate two-day guide – packed with experiences that redefine the festival landscape – to help you navigate your weekend.


For the Skaters

Sole DXB invites you to dive into the vibrant world of skate culture. The festival's VICE presents SKATE with Cariuma is set to unleash the adrenaline of skateboarding enthusiasts with thrilling competitions, engaging workshops, and a bespoke flat land street-style skate area covering 374 square meters. Mimicking iconic local spots like the Deira Fountain and Sparks, this skate haven is a communal hangout featuring a Vert Wall, Fun Box, Flat ground/Game Of V.I.C.E, grind ledges, and more.


For the Ballers

Presented by Shake Shack, Sole Ball Above All (SBAA) adds an extra layer of excitement to the festival, offering a series of basketball tournaments and thrilling rewards for the winners. The court becomes a stage for engaging competitions, giveaway prizes, and an ultimate celebration of the sport. Whether you're a player or a spectator, SBAA creates a vibrant, multicultural atmosphere, promoting tolerance and unity through the love of basketball.

article @SOLEDXB

For the Sneakerheads

Swap, Thrift, Elevate. The iconic "Sneaker Swap & Sneaker Thrift" experience, presented in collaboration with YouBetterFly, returns for its highly anticipated comeback. Step into a space where sneakerheads unite, bringing their passion for footwear to new heights. Explore a curated selection of kicks, from classic gems to the latest releases, fostering connections with prominent collectors in the region.


For the Hype Beasts

In collaboration with Dubai Design District (d3), the festival unveils a pop-up that goes beyond the ordinary, showcasing a diverse range of independent fashion and lifestyle brands. This curated space celebrates creativity that transcends borders from the UAE to South Africa and Palestine to the United Kingdom. Explore culture-spanning collections by up-and-coming designers such as Kazner Asker, Homies Marbella, Neartwins, and more. There, you can find Retropia, a brand beloved by camera enthusiasts that brings a unique twist, specializing in buying and selling analog, digital, and collectible cameras.


For the Foodies

The festival not only caters to your senses of sight and sound but also tantalizes your taste buds with an array of homegrown, local, and independent F&B brands. From Chef Halawa's culinary creations to the irresistible offerings of Shake Shack, Pickl, and more, Sole DXB promises a delicious blend of global cuisines. Whether you're craving innovative dishes or seeking comfort in familiar flavors, the festival's F&B lineup, featuring renowned vendors like Seven Fortunes and Temple Creamery, ensures a delightful experience that complements the vibrant atmosphere of Sole DXB.


For the Audiophiles

From opening night at Rudy's Diner to the pulsating beats echoing through the weekend, the festival transforms into a sonic playground for music enthusiasts. Let the music move you as exceptional talents like Rich Fazo, Ayanna Heaven, DJ Brooklyn, Shef Codes, and more take the stage, setting the tone for a weekend filled with unforgettable moments. And that's just the beginning. Brace yourselves for a legendary performance from Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah, as well as Lupe Fiasco, and Busta Rhymes – marking the pinnacle of Sole DXB's exclusive series of parties. The beats continue reverberating throughout the week with sets by Jyoty, DJ Clark Kent, DJ Koco, and other surprise guests, ensuring every note adds to the festival's tapestry of sounds and experiences.

article @JYOTY

For the Listeners

The Talk Program is a series of discussions with influential voices shaping fashion, music, publishing, and design. Delve into the minds of industry icons such as Karl Kani, the legendary designer behind iconic looks for Hip Hop artists from Tupac to Quavo; BMX athlete and philanthropist Nigel Sylvester as he shares his journey from Queens, New York; AZEEMA, the London-based magazine, creative agency, and collective, amplifies the strength and artistry of women; while Estelle Bailey Babenzien, co-founder of Noah Clothing, provides insights into the world of sustainable fashion. You'll also be able to join a captivating discussion with Joey Bada$$, presented by Les Benjamins, as he shares insights into his multi-hyphenate career and latest mentorship initiative, and many more.


For the Shutterbugs

Occupied Pleasures is a compelling photo exhibition by Tanya Habjouqa, presented at Sole DXB 2023 in collaboration with Gulf Photo Plus. This exhibition offers a nuanced and multi-dimensional portrayal of humanity's remarkable ability to find joy amid challenging circumstances in occupied Palestine. Straddling the realms of both passive and active meanings, Occupied Pleasures delves into the lives of over five million Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem. Here, the everyday intertwines with the political, juxtaposing desires for simple pleasures and a keen sense of humor amidst decades of dispossession and occupation. Habjouqa's lens captures the essence of resilience, inviting festival-goers to explore a narrative that transcends borders and connects us through shared humanity. 

article @HABJOUQA

For the Gearheads

This year, Sole DXB introduces BMW Middle East's debut presentation – The House of XM. This immersive content space, powered by the BMW XM Sports Activity Vehicle, pays homage to legends who pushed boundaries in music and art. Engage in interactive experiences, including a styling corner, photo opportunities, and a rooftop lounge offering breathtaking views of the festival and city skyline. The House of XM's curated experience is complemented by an exclusive F&B encounter, live performances, and DJ sets. 


For the Eco-Warriors

Watch out for Istituto Marangoni Dubai's presentation, Circular Horizons. In collaboration with Global Fashion Exchange founder Patrick Duffy, the booth showcases a commitment to waste reduction by repurposing components from past exhibitions. Led by experts like Cedric Haddad, a renowned stylist, the workshops cover upcycling, styling, stenciling, illustration, and a 3D printing demonstration with Solid World that explores technology and customization for shoe accessories. You'll also find The Dubai Swapshop on December 10th, which promotes sustainable practices, allowing attendees to exchange pre-loved items. 


For the Pavement Pounders

Beyond the physical, On transforms the activation space into a vibrant hub for conversations and workshops led by international influencers like Ermi Visuals. The curated schedule caters to creative movers, featuring the inaugural Sole x On community run, silent HIIT sessions, and DJ sets. Collaborating with local artist Ibrahim Khamayseh, On's live customization station infuses the spirit of the Middle East into a uniquely personalized experience. 


For the Collectors

Celebrating 50 years of hip-hop, FARFETCH BEAT is the epitome of the platform's retail program, curated in collaboration with the most progressive voices in fashion and culture. Available at Sole DXB’s retail shop starting on December 8th, FARFETCH BEAT promises exclusive, handpicked products reflecting the essence of global style, and it's the perfect spot to pick up FARFETCH BEAT 012, the limited-edition second installment of Nas and Futura’s vinyl trilogy with 12on12.

article SOLE DXB

For the Creatives

Founded by Bünyamin Aydin in Istanbul, Les Benjamins has become a leading cultural storyteller through the medium of fashion and design. Positioned adjacent to the main stage, the Les Benjamins pop-up booth promises an immersive experience that goes beyond retail. Explore its Fall/Winter 2023 Collection and exclusive drops, spanning menswear, womenswear, and accessories, all inspired by Turkey's rich heritage. The booth is a celebration of community, hosting a henna workshop, live t-shirt screen-printing, and a first-floor bar serving up prime views of the concert.


For the Street Savvy

A steadfast pillar in the African streetwear community since 2018, Power Horse takes center stage by energizing the innovative spirit of Africa's cutting-edge streetwear brands. As a proud supporter of Sole DXB, Power Horse presents the Street Souk, featuring four African brands: Free The Youth, Severe Nature, WWYD, and WBF. This partnership extends beyond sponsorship, acting as a catalyst for the growth and exposure of streetwear creatives. 

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