From the East Coast to the Middle East, Boston-born retailer Concepts expanded operations into the heart of the Arab Emirates in late 2016 as the cherry on top of their 20th anniversary celebrations. Since setting up shop at Dubai’s City Walk – a bustling open-air mall inspired by the streets of London – Concepts brought the very best streetwear to the City of Gold and unleashed a cavalcade of colabs on the Persian Gulf. Their jet-setting creative director, Deon Point, gives us some insight into the retailer’s global growth.
How’s the heat in the Middle East?
Unbearable! [Laughs] I stay with a tan out here though.
Why did you choose Dubai as the location for your first international store?
We knew that increasing within the US market would only compete with our online store. For that reason, we rethought our approach and landed on Dubai. While there were already some great stores here, we knew Concepts could become the cornerstone of a burgeoning market. We view Concepts as a luxury sport brand and always have. Dubai is a natural extension of that, so it seemed fitting to plant a flag here.
Is there much of a sneaker scene out there?
During my initial visit I didn't really see it, as there was so much outside of that to take in. However, over time I started to notice the enthusiasm. After seeing the reception and outpouring of support during our opening I can tell you it will only get better with time.
What are customers in Dubai looking for?
These days it’s tough to differentiate between markets. Dubai is very much in touch with the latest sneaker info; they just didn't always have the outlets to provide higher-tier product.
How do you divide your time between here and the US?
Most of my time is split between NYC and Boston, with a few trips to Dubai throughout the year. Boston will always be home to me, no matter where opportunity decides to take me.
What would a Dubai-themed Concepts colab look like?
We've thought long and hard about that. I’d be naive to speak for the region, since I’m not a resident, but the one thing that sticks out above all else is architecture. Dubai is growing at an alarming rate. The tower cranes seemingly never stop and the buildings look like LEGO that’s been dropped from the sky. Each building tops the last in terms of design. It’s simply stunning and like nothing I have ever witnessed anywhere else in the globe.
What's the next stop on the Concepts world tour?
Concepts Dubai is located at 39 Al Safa St, City Walk 2, Dubai, UAE.
Visit their website for more information.