Twin Cities Sneaker.Art Xchange hosts local artists, sneakers
Moh Habib, owner and creative director of Studiiyo23, says he always knew that corporate life wasn't for him. He worked in international marketing consulting for 12 years, and loved being able to travel the world, but says he knew it was a means to an end.
"I always wanted an art gallery, a place where I could combine everything I love in life into one space," Habib says. "For me that's art, music, fashion, culture, and sneakers. Those are the five pillars that Studiiyo23 was founded on."
The Fashion Mobile boutique: Minnesota's first fashion truck
Tim Gunn on fashion history, Minnesota 'Project Runway' contestants
Studiiyo23 is a one-of-a-kind boutique that features new art every month, and carries apparel and footwear that most local retailers don't.
"We're usually the only store in the state -- sometimes the only one in the Midwest -- that carries certain brands or styles," Habib says.
Selling unique footwear at Studiiyo23 didn't come as a surprise to anyone who knows Habib. He has collected Air Jordan shoes for as long as he can remember, and he stopped counting when he reached 250 pairs.
"People who aren't in that culture call it an addiction. I just call it a collection," Habib laughs. "Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. I collect sneakers."
His love for sneakers inspired him to create the first annual Twin Cities Sneaker.Art Xchange (TCSAX), hosted by Studiiyo23 at First Avenue. Because Studiiyo23 is about more than just sneakers, Habib decided to invite local artists, musicians, designers, and sneaker enthusiasts to showcase, sell, and exchange their work at the event.
"What we wanted to do is bring the artist community, sneaker collectors, up-and-coming local apparel brands, and musicians together under one roof for a day. It's an event for creative and positive people to come together and network and tell their story," Habib says.
Involving the community was important to Habib.
"I'm a collaborative person," he says. "[TCSAX] easily could have been a Studiiyo23 event, but we want to support local artists. For me, it's all about collaboration. It's an extension of who I am. The more you support other people the more you receive support."
The afternoon will feature vendors, artists, designers, fabulous sneakers, two DJs spinning tracks, 16 local musicians playing short sets, and food trucks. For those interested in the sneaker exchange, three pairs are permitted per entry for trade.
Following the event is an 18+ ticketed after party with a live performance by Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon "The Chef" in the Main Room.
"We selected Raekwon, who is considered one of the best lyricists in the group, because he hasn't been [to Minnesota] in awhile, and some of the other group members have," Habib says. "He's one of my personal favorites. People can expect great music and the same kind of vibe from the daytime event where it's just positivity and people laughing and having fun at one of the top venues in Minnesota."
He encourages people of all ages to check out TCSAX during the day.
"People should come to the event to support local artists, boutiques, up-and-coming designers, and young creatives who don't have a place to tell their stories or sell their goods," Habib says.
Habib also invites guests to bring clothing or blankets to the event and Studiiyo23 will donate them to people in need in the community.
IF YOU GO:
Twin Cities Sneaker.Art Xchange
2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, November 4
701 First Ave., Minneapolis
The after party featuring Raekwon is 18+ from 9:00 p.m. to midnight. Tickets to the after party are $21/$23.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Minneapolis & St. Paul and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.