New Dubai golf shoe designer goes gangsta with Snoop Dogg
There's a definite spring in Steven Alexander's first footsteps of 2013. Having Snoop Dogg as one of your customers would leave any new business walking tall.
But having the legendary rapper as a potential repeat customer has left the Dubai-based Dutchman jumping for joy. Fo shizzle, dawg! (As Snoop himself might say...)
Luxury golf-shoe firm Steven Alexander will officially launch on January 29 at the Dubai Desert Classic. A year ago, Alexander, the 36-year-old managing director of the firm bearing his name, was talking with a friend about how cool it would be to design a pair of shoes for a celebrity.
Snoop Dogg - or Snoop Lion as the ubercool rhymer currently likes to be called - was the first celeb to spring to mind.
Knowing the big golf fan was headlining the Atelier Festival on New Year’s Eve in Dubai, Alexander got in touch with the Alchemy Project - the events agency behind the gig - who were “super enthusiastic” about the idea of getting a pair of specially-designed shoes to Snoop.
“I’m very grateful to them for their help,” Alexander said. 7DAYS was present to witness the moment Alexander handed the handmade shoes - which would normally retail at Dhs1,750 - to Snoop after his Atelier show.
The rapper’s response upon opening the box containing the shoes made to fit his US size 12 feet? “Sweeeeet!”
Alexander said he was absolutely thrilled to find Snoop loved the shoes so much. “What a moment, what an experience,” he said. Alexander, originally from Amsterdam, chose to design Snoop’s name-engraved shoes in the Rasta-lovin’ rapper’s favourite green, yellow and red colours.
“He’s so cool. He’s cool the way he walks, cool the way he talks - he’s so fun, such an entertainer,” added an awestruck Alexander. Italian shoemaking master Raimondi - who previously worked for Prada, Dolce and Gabbana and Versace before deciding to concentrate on the ultra-luxury shoe segment - is the man who brings Alexander’s designs to fruition.
Raimondi crafts a handmade pair in eight weeks.
Alexander is set to open his UAE online store later this month, and will offer an ultra-luxury service for the, er, well-heeled client. A specialist is sent from Italy to hand measure a customer’s feet before Raimondi makes them a “perfect” bespoke pair. The cost? A cool Dhs49,000.
And the pair pictured on this page might not be the last shoes Alexander sends his new pal Snoop either.
“I’d love to work with Snoop in the future,” he said. “I spoke to his manager who said, ‘we’ll get your details and stay in touch - because he wants more pairs’.”
Now that’s what you call putting your best foot forward for the New Year. Fo shizzle.
RESTAURANT STAFF ARE READY TO ROLL
Snoop Dogg’s visit to the UAE may yet prove just as much of a boon to the food business as the footwear industry - but he’s yet to show up at a popular local restaurant after pledging to try their chicken biryani.
After reading in 7DAYS yesterday about Snoop’s wish to chow down at Ravi’s Restaurant in Dubai’s Satwa district, staff at the joint were looking forward to welcoming the super-smooth superstar and his crew. But it looks like Snoop fell fowl somewhere - he’s missing in action.
“He’s not been yet,” Ravi’s waiter Abdul Wahab sighed last night. Wahab said multimillionaire Snoop was missing out on a delicious Dhs13 biryani. The Indian national called Ravi’s a “world-famous restaurant”.
But there was one California Girl tucking into Ravi’s cuisine yesterday. Dubai resident and California native Lacey Sexson told 7DAYS: “I used to live in Long Beach where Snoop’s from and he’s definitely missing out. He has to visit an authentic place while he’s here.”
Fellow American Tonya Colson, said: “I’ve had chicken biryani here and I can only recommend it.” Next time Snoop, next time.