Here’s What Went Down at This Year’s BRED Abu Dhabi Presented by Hypebeast

The hyped crowds experienced a range of music, fashion, art, food, sports, and much more.

Events 
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As BRED Abu Dhabi presented by Hypebeast made its highly anticipated return last month — here’s a recap of what went down at the five-day event.

Boasting everything from fashion to sports events, the festival offered five days of boundless energy that celebrated the best of East and West in Yas Bay, Abu Dhabi. With global vendors including Billionaire Boys Club & ICECREAM, Les Benjamins, and GRADE Africa showcasing stand-out pieces, local brands turned up in full force for the cultural celebration with the likes of SN3 Studio, Good Faith, and 5Pillars making their debut.

Collaborations played a big part in this year’s activations as a range of retailers, brands, and creatives teamed up to curate special moments exclusively for the event. ASICS partnered with SVD on an installation that brought Japanese aesthetics to Abu Dhabi, dropping limited-edition numbers of HIDDEN.NY, Needles, and ENNOY collab sneakers. Three local creatives also incorporated their design languages on staple silhouettes whilst the rooftop hosted interactive sip ‘n’ paint sessions and popular after-parties.

Fred Perry enlisted Myneandyours for an installation that brought the Dubai-based artist’s signature cloud to life through a unique pop-up. Retailer Sneaker District also housed a range of Jeff Staple collabs as the revered designer attended the festival to discuss his journey and creative career in an intimate panel talk at the space.

Whether it was on-foot heat or sought-after stock, the sneaker game this year leveled up. With Footlocker hosting an exclusive Air Jordan stall exhibiting past icons alongside their present counterparts including original 1985 “Chicago” and “Royal Blue” Jordan 1 colorways, fans also queued patiently around Dubai-based retailer FRAME’s booth that dropped the Nike SB Dunk Low “Chicago” and “Big Money Savings” over two days exclusively at BRED Abu Dhabi, whilst Dropkick partnered with New Balance for its visually striking “The Vault” booth that drew inspiration from Arabic architecture.

Not only celebrating the creativity of the region’s favorites, BRED Abu Dhabi encouraged visitors to get in on the action. New Era – who required visitors to enter a private code to unlock its booth – allowed customers to get customized stitching on their caps, Shabab created a selection of football-inspired graphics to apply unique additions to Umbro jerseys, while Les Benjamins gave workshops in accessory customization.

Supplying spray cans, paint, and stencils, the emerging streetwear label Precious Trust gave visitors the opportunity to express their creativity on its collection of T-shirts, hoodies, and denim. The interior, designed by architect Sara Bokr, was also purposefully conceptualized in all-white and became a larger-than-life canvas for people to add their artistic flair.

New York was fully represented throughout the food stalls with Scarr’s Pizza and 7th Street Burger delivering some of the Big Apple’s favorites whilst Ocky Way transported his Brooklyn bodega to Abu Dhabi to serve up its famous chopped cheese sandwiches.

LOCAL, a concept store based in the emirate, debuted its highly anticipated partnership with local pizzeria Marmellata titled DEUCE’s. Boasting a three-floor space serving a range of Italian eats as well as delectable ice cream flavors including Palestinian olive oil gelato. Offering more than food, the duo dropped a range of collaborative merch including T-shirts, jackets, caps, and totes in the pizzeria’s signature “Royal Blue” and “White” palette. Other vendors displayed their passion through design as food-inspired fits from local eateries like Kleicha — serving sweet Iraqi delicacies — also had a range of garments and accessories inspired by the country’s history.

The Neo-Gallery showcased works from the likes of Mous Lamrabat, courtesy of Loft Gallery, and regional artists like Dina Sami, Hypeart hosted a live mural painting enlisting Omar Sha3 and Ana Barriga to create a unique piece titled Harmony in Play on a 10x30ft canvas that continued throughout the five days. The vast Art Gallery also exhibited a selection of iconic memorabilia including signed Mike Tyson boxing gloves, a Lionel Messi boot, and a Michael Jordan basketball available for those who wanted to own a piece of history.

Elsewhere, the NBA 2K League Gaming Zone, hosted by some of the world’s leading international players, featured a range of activities from high jump and dribble challenges to head-to-head gaming bouts. BRED Abu Dhabi’s basketball and futsal courts held nail-biting tournaments, crossbar challenges, and dunk contests as Vans sponsored a skate park open to all abilities and frequented by skateboarders and BMXers.

The highly anticipated music programming was the festival’s main event, showcasing BRED Abu Dhabi’s dedication to celebrating the region’s diversity. With headliners Aitch and AJ Tracey kicked off the energy alongside regional talent Abyusif who brought out his Egyptian counterparts Ahmed Santa and Abo El Anwar during his performance. The following days saw busy crowds fill in for this year’s hottest show: Offset, Metro Boomin, Don Toliver, and Ty Dolla $ign — the latter who teased tracks from Vultures 2 — and Marwan Pablo, Nour, Saud G, El Waili, Major League DJz and DJ Habibieats.

The party didn’t stop there as rooftops were the place to be following the headline acts, that took partygoers well into the early morning. Whether it was ANTI — BRED Abu Dhabi’s official after party that hosted the likes of Saliah, Dany Neville, Elexsandom, and many more surprise guests, Amongst Few’s event at DEUCE’s, DJ collective Green Room at Good Faith and ASICS x SVD, or Crayon soft launching its upcoming event series exclusively at the festival — there was a line-up that catered to all.

Check out the recap footage in the galleries above. Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events and next year’s BRED Abu Dhabi presented by Hypebeast on the official website.

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