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INTRODUCING RAMI AFIFI:
EXPO 2020 IN-STORE ARTIST

Rami Afifi is Palestinian - Egyptian and has lived in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, making him a veteran of the Middle East. As a proud Arab, Rami has spent the last decade contributing to the local street culture and art scene to take it global. Rami’s artwork taps into both street style culture and Dubai’s culture which captures the essence of Level Shoes and considering he has collaborated with some of the biggest regional and international brands, makes him the perfect partner for this creative collaboration.

Rami Afifi is Palestinian - Egyptian and has lived in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, making him a veteran of the Middle East. As a proud Arab, Rami has spent the last decade contributing to the local street culture and art scene to take it global. Rami’s artwork taps into both street style culture and Dubai’s culture which captures the essence of Level Shoes and considering he has collaborated with some of the biggest regional and international brands, makes him the perfect partner for this creative collaboration.

What is the inspiration behind the artwork?
There are many different aspects and experiences of my life, which have inspired my artwork. From collecting sneakers and the many different brands at Level Shoes, to my life in Dubai and Expo 2020.

How is this artwork linked with EXPO 2020? There are a lot of pop-culture elements – is this part of your aesthetic? What are some of the key figures you’d call out to in this artwork that resonate with the region?
Following the announcement of future technologies at Expo such as the Robot Police force and Flying Cars, I automatically thought of some of my favourite properties. I've always found Dubai to be a very futuristic city, the landscape feels like something out of a sci-fi or anime film. The Robot Police force instantly reminded me of the cult classic film, Robocop. The futurism is embodied in the artwork through the Akira visual which was a big inspiration for Yeezy's Donda album release and Level Shoes is one of the few stores in the region that sells Yeezy shoes, so it was an instant fit.

What made you say yes to the project with Level Shoes?
Level Shoes has always been iconic to the region, as one of the first shoe stores in Dubai that brought in unique and interesting sneakers, hype releases, Tier 1 models and more. I also loved that it was a bit of a hidden gem at the time, and I could just walk in and grab shoes like the White Cement Jordan 4, straight off the shelf without having to queue up or enter a raffle.

What part does Level Shoes play within this artwork?
As mentioned previously, I've been influenced by many of the brands in Level Shoes, and I wanted to bring out that inspiration in the artwork. Level Shoes was integrated by using the tech sneakers from Axel Arigato to mirror the tech-centric architecture, or the curves of the Nike Huaraches to mimic the sand dunes of the Dubai desert and the waves of the water. This also ties back to the Yeezy reference to Donda which was a huge pop culture moment at the time and links back to the anime and the futurism of Dubai, which Expo 2020 highlights.

A World Of Sneakers

So much of Rami’s art is inspired by sneaker culture, here’s an edit of our key styles this season and Rami’s selects.