Think vending machines are just for snacks and soda? Think again.The founders of Sole DXB want product designers and marketers to think out-of-the-box in connection with how fashion merchandise can be sold, and right now they see potential in pop-up vending machines.Sole DXB was founded by Hussain Moloobhoy, Joshua Cox, Kris Balerite and Rajat Malhotra, with each having either creative or product design backgrounds. The platform is essentially an annual street culture festival aimed at celebrating global street culture in the Middle East. Totaling three days and two nights in Dubai, the platform combines a music festival and a direct-to-consumer fashion trade show.This year’s three-day show, which began Thursday and represents the sixth annual installment, is in partnership with Virgin Megastore, and celebrates Japanese street culture via an experiential update to its concept store, Early Retirement. The concept includes exclusive collaborations and event merchandise housed in specially imported vending machines. The thinking behind using an iconic symbol of modern-day Japan — vending machines are found on Japanese street corners — is to provide visual interest for the festival, as well as a look at what could be the future buying habits of the next generation of shoppers.The idea of using vending machines to sell fashion-related merchandise isn’t exactly new. Reebok International in 2004 used vending machines to sell the brand’s Travel Trainer sneakers in select locations in New York and San Francisco. That test concept evolved from a set-up in a Tokyo airport and at select stores the year before. Beauty got into the category as a possible new selling channel when ZoomSystems in March 2010 inked a deal with The Body Shop to sell select products. More recently, in June Snap Inc. began using Snapbots — vending machines — to sell its $129.99 Spectacles in London and Spain. That was followed in August by Japanese firm Uniqlo, which said it would use Uniqlo to Go automated apparel vending machines to sell jackets and underwear in high-traffic areas that may not warrant a store or have the square footage to accommodate one.Typically, consumers make a selection and then swipe their credit cards to make a purchase, but the cards actually aren’t billed until after a robotic arm removes a product that then gets ejected for pick-up.Items for purchase in the Sole DXB machines are hand selected from some of Tokyo’s backstreet retail finds, such as hard to locate Eighties Walkmans and hip-hop tapes. Sole DXB also produced their own “Sole” branded merchandise ranging from T-shirts and hoodies to caps and pins. Also available are Wacko Maria x Sole DXB collaboration tees and limited quantities of Asagra bandanas.Previous street culture celebrations include American hip-hop in 2015 and the British street counterpart in 2016. This year’s direct-to-consumer fashion trade show participants are housed in retail units taking their design cue from Tokyo’s architecture, and brand participants include Asics, Nike, Puma and Reebok. Japanese designers represented at the show include Neighborhood, Visvim, Wacko Maria and White Mountaineering. Sole DXB is also partnering with two luxury brands for the first time: Dior Homme and Kenzo. Dior Homme created a one-off B01 Sneaker in Black calfskin for the event, limiting production to 50 pairs.[caption id="attachment_11069618" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Sole DXB B01 Sneaker from Dior Homme.[/caption]
Leading luxury brand are shaking things up to keep up with streetwear. Case in point: the arrival of @mrkimjones as artistic director of @diorhomme. Jones, who succeeds @Kris_Van_Assche, is seen as one of the handful of designers who can actually straddle the luxury and streetwear worlds — which could lead to even more changes at established brands. What could this mean for the rest of the menswear landscape? Head to WWD.com to find out what experts predict #wwdfashion (📷: @franckmura)
“It’s like buying groceries. You’re going to buy the best mango, the best mozzarella, the best things. You have to, or others are going to take it all,” said @gabrielahearst on why she uses only the finest fabrics. Last week, Hearst received her first @cfda nomination for Womenswear Designer of the Year, and earlier this month she opened a permanent showroom in Paris. To read @jessiredale’s interview with the designer and find out why this is shaping up to be a big year for her, head to WWD.com. #wwdfashion (📷: @francoisgoize)
“It’s an interesting thing, playing a younger version of your mother. It’s an interesting concept. I adore my mom and love her in every capacity, but it was just something that had never crossed my mind,” says @anniemstarke on playing a young Joan Castleman in “The Wife.” The same role will be played by her mother Glenn Close. Read more about her growing up in the film industry as the daughter of producer John H. Starke and Close and what she has planned for the future #wwdeye (📷: @nataliamantini)
@asics is launching a new streetwear sneaker inspired by its latest ambassador, @steveaoki. The Hyper-Kenzen x Aoki, which will launch at @footlocker stores exclusively tomorrow, is a slip-on style that incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance. Read the full story on WWD.com.
@beyonce chose a custom gown by @falgunishanepeacockindia for mother @mstinalawson 's second annual Wearable Art Gala last night. The gown, which took 10 days to make, was inspired by Nubian warrior queen Amanishakheto. Reporting by @hernameislex . #wwdeye 👑 🐝#beyonce
After dressing @justintimberlake for his Super Bowl halftime performance last month, @stellamccartney has designed the star’s "Man of the Woods" tour wardrobe. Timberlake will be wearing a mix of pieces from McCartney’s fall men's collection as well as custom designs and items from his own closet. #wwdfashion