Beachroad chat with the guys behind the streetwear & sneaker brand upclassics before this weekends SOLE DXB.
What the story behind upclassics? //
We are a small e-com business specialising in streetwear apparel, premium sneakers and accessories based here in Dubai. We are originally from South West Germany.
When was upclassics founded and how can people find out more? //
Upclassics was founded in 2015 and our goal was to become the ambassadors of true streetwear culture in the Middle East. We represent some of the World’s most authentic and renowned brands in the world of streetwear (Stussy, Carhartt, The Hundreds, Only NYC) and we are happy to share them with the UAE. We are currently found online at www.upclassics.com or via our social channels on Instagram or Facebook under the handle @upclassics. We also appear pop ups and key events within the calendar year in Dubai and across the UAE, and hope to do more in 2018.
What made you want to start upclassics here in the Middle East? //
Our founder Hamid grew up alongside the street scene in Germany and on travels began noticing that there was a real lack of avenues for people to access such brands and events that can be seen over the world, so that’s how UpClassics began.
How do you currently see the streetwear scene here in the Middle East? //
We see the scene here as still in it’s early stages but maturing at a faster rate than how it would have in either New York or Paris back in the day, due to social media. So we are working carefully on supporting the scene well but also making it relevant to the present day. The community is constantly growing and there are lots of creative people here.
Where do you think the scene will be in 5 years time? //
In 5 years time we hope to see the scene here to be a lot more established, settled and also more comfortable with itself with people dressing and liking what and how they like rather than conforming to what is ‘Hype’ or what they think should be done, worn and said in other established areas of the World. We would like to see more understanding, respect and discipline in the scene compared to what we see now.
What projects have you been up to recently? //
Recently we have been working on some exciting pieces with a few of our current key brands. We are going to be launching exclusive capsule collections with Jason Markk, Carhartt, The Hundreds and our latest brand Carrots at this years SOLE DXB. These are all really exciting projects with amazing brands and definatley our biggest yet so we are very proud to be working with them and being allowed to add a little UpClassics and UAE personality into it’s look and feel.
What’s the biggest challenge for you here in Dubai? //
The biggest challenge here has been getting consumers comfortable with online shopping concepts, and educating people about streetwear. Our aim was and will always be to grow organically and establish a sustainable business but also be on the same level as our customers.
What is your take on Dubai as a city? //
Dubai is a fantastic city, we’ve been here a while now and although sometimes it can be frustrating, on the whole it offers so much for so many people. Now is an amazing time to be here as so much more is happening and the quality of things is always rising.
How do you like to relax? //
Listening to music is very important in the Upclassics HQ. taking time out and seeing family and friends, and jogging along Beach Road beach at sunset.
What was the last gift you gave? //
A shirt for my girlfriend in a thrift shop in Satwa.
Where is your favourite city to travel and why? //
New York City – So much culture, diversity, great food, struggle and success.
If UpClassics was a food what food would it be? //
UpClassics is definitely Lentil Soup. Understated, transparent and full of goodness.
Who is your greatest influence? //
Someone we’ve had the privialge of working with, Bobby Hundreds (Founder of The Hundreds) Streetwear definitely wouldn’t be what it is now if it wasn’t for him and his blogs.
What makes you happy? //
Meeting people that care about what they do and do it with love and passion not just glory, money or because it’s popular.
Who would feature in your ideal concert line up (dead or alive)? //
John Coltrane, Chance the Rapper, Bon Ivor, Frank Ocean, Spooky Black.
Be good to everyone around you, stay humble as we never know what’s around the corner and shop more at upclassics.com.