“It’s not that there is no streetwear culture there, clearly there is, I saw it”
Getting off the plane in a t-shirt and shorts to the British winter is always a wonderful experience.
I have just returned from Dubai having spent four days attending the lifestyle and culture festival that is SOLEDXB. Having never been to Dubai before, and coming from a relatively basic background where locations I have travelled have always been on a budget, it kinda blew my head off. This was my first taste of the “City of Gold”. We as the Basement, were tasked to cover the event but also experience it too, so myself, Alex and Aria jumped on a flight with suitcases only containing tees, shorts and kicks. Its probably the first time I’ve ever travelled without a Jacket.
Dubai is just all a bit mad to be honest. A city that has only really existed properly for 20 years, culture is not something you would associate a desert metropolis with. It’s not that there is no streetwear culture there, clearly there is, I saw it, and its thanks to events and collectives like the Sole guys who foster and enable creativity to grow within the Middle East. Sole for me is a platform for up-coming designers and brands to showcase product and spread messages in an area of the world that creativity is not in abundance. More importantly, the physical event enables those who live and are interested in this “culture” to get together, converse and link and build. That for me is the most important aspect of what we do, the conversations we have with one another physically, especially as what we love has upped and moved to the internet and social media.
Both SoleDXB and Basement began on Facebook and have gone on to build communities around the world to celebrate and inhibit the culture that surrounds streetwear and youth culture. This year was SoleDXB’s fifth event and in regards to set up and visuals, takes the number one spot in the event roster for me. It encapsulated everything a lifestyle event needs. I really appreciated the focus on education, with panel talks running all day from some of the biggest creatives and artists within this industry. This allows attendees the chance to hear real knowledge and be inspired in person. And not the same usual names regurgitating the same shit from a project they did 9 years ago.
I got some form of heat stroke first day, and the heat there is no joke, I am a big man, I do not do well in 32 degree heat all day. Apart from that, I really enjoyed it. We got to see Thai perform to a new audience which is always great, seeing who you wouldn’t really associate with struggle screaming all his words. Giggs shut it down and then Nas was something else.
We look forward to SoleDXB 2019. Thanks for having us!