In partnership with Virgin Megastore, Sole DXB introduces an experimental update to its own concept store, Early Retirement, for 2017. This landmark approach to retail positions exclusive collaborations pieces, event merch and rare Tokyo sourced goods, within specially imported automated retail vending machines, offering consumers a unique and engaging purchasing experience. In place for just three days (7-9 December) offering super limited quantities of goods, the iconic pop-up takes a smart turn this December at Dubai‘s street culture fair Sole DXB.

  A Smart Vending Machine Celebrates Japanese Street Culture at Sole DXB

Fully stocked with hundreds of hard-to-find items – treasures dispensed from the smart vending machines will include everything from Andy Warhol and Fragment Be@rbrickcollectible toys, to 8-Bit music composers and original 1980’s Walkmans & hip-hop tapes.

All hand-selected from some of Tokyo’s best kept backstreet retail secrets, the selection of merchandise takes inspiration from the classic hardware found on every street corner in the Japanese capital. Set to launch at Sole DXB 2017, with five machines positioned at the venue’s entrance, consumers will be treated to a glimpse of what their future buying experiences could well become.

  A Smart Vending Machine Celebrates Japanese Street Culture at Sole DXB

To further mark the 2017 event, Sole DXB have produced their own merchandise, which will be sold exclusively through Early Retirement. A range of Sole-branded apparel that takes cues from a refined Japanese aesthetic, the 13-piece monochrome collection includes t-shirts, hoodies, caps and pins. Also available to purchase will be two very special Wacko Maria x Sole DXB collaboration items. The two-piece capsule includes a heavyweight washed t-shirt featuring iconic “dancing geisha” graphic with The Kanji – Tengoku Tokyo meaning “Paradise Tokyo”. Also featured is the Asagra bandana – a traditional Japanese pattern often seen on Japanese kimono. Both will be available in very limited quantities exclusively at Early Retirement, Sole DXB 2017.

  A Smart Vending Machine Celebrates Japanese Street Culture at Sole DXB

Celebrating this landmark haul and the dawn of a new retail landscape, Sole DXB teamed up with leading local creatives to showcase this dichotomy of old and new – bringing the paradox between bespoke personal experience and mass consumerism to life, in classic Sole-led poetic motion. Working with director Amirah Tajdin, producer Wafa Tajdin, and photographer Farel Bisotto, we are led on a winding path as the machinery tours some of Dubai’s best and lesser known spots – showcasing the Early Retirement concept store as a picture postcard portrait. In the age of consumerism, the retailer is the destination.

  A Smart Vending Machine Celebrates Japanese Street Culture at Sole DXB

As director Amirah Tajdin says “Object and space take on a new meaning in this visual piece for Sole DXB 2017, when a mystery object appears down alleyways of Al Rigga’s iconic China Sea restaurant, a Deira petrol station perfectly preserved in a ‘90s Gulf chic, and even the suburban outskirts of the Al Qudra desert. Thus, through a series of surreal juxtapositions, the viewer is transported across Dubai, following the zen-like journey of what seems to be a vending machine.”

Reflecting the booming appetite for alternative culture that Sole DXB has steadily cultivated since its inception in 2010, Sole DXB and Virgin Megastore come together to present an iconic symbol of modern-day Japan, bespoke-updated for the buying habits and visual appetite of the next generation.


all images © Farel Bisotto