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Get your kicks at Studiiyo 23

Uptown’s new spot has shoes for even the snobbiest of sneaker-geekers.
Get your kicks at Studiiyo 23
Image by Erin Westover

What: Studiiyo 23

Where:2319 Hennepin Ave S. Minneapolis, MN


Studiiyo 23 owner Moh Habib has 150 pairs of shoes. And no, he isnâÄôt trying to live out some deep-seated desire to identify with Carrie Bradshaw.

He is a businessman and an artist, and he has an impeccable eye for courtside style. HeâÄôs also proudly opened a culture fusion store, Studiiyo 23, in the Uptown area.

As for the footwear, theyâÄôre Jordans. Habib, a diehard expert, presents them to Minneapolis in an entirely fresh way.

Opening just three weeks ago, Studiiyo 23 is the Sriracha to the blandness of ordinary retail experiences. The store operates on the principle of combining different aspects of culture âÄî give multifaceted dimensions to the time spent shopping for one-of-a-kind kicks.

âÄúItâÄôs a fusion of ideas,âÄù Habib said. âÄúI want to build an experience from the ground up.âÄù

The strategy for success is simple: Reach out to the local arts community and get them invested and involved.

âÄúWeâÄôre able to attract a wide range of people, so for me it had to be Uptown because itâÄôs the center of art and fashion,âÄù Habib said.

Studiiyo 23 seeks to support those eager to share their self-expressions, offering monthly space for artists to display their work or perform material in front of a live audience. An open mic night and video game tournaments are in the works. There is also a built-in turntable for local DJs to spin their musical magic. The store is meant to serve as an approachable, open place where individuals can feel comfortable and inspired to unleash their artistic identities.

âÄúA main message that we really want to get out to students is that we want artists of every kind to come in here,âÄù said employee Jaclyn Cardin. âÄúI know thereâÄôs a lot of talent out there.âÄù

The physical setup of the store is completely suitable to that notion, and most every structure within it can be moved to accommodate whatever imaginative form the day happens to take on.

 âÄúThe whole idea is to keep it fresh and always changing and evolving,âÄù Habib said.

Habib left his full-time job to create the store, a dream of his since college. Meticulous detail has gone into its planning and aesthetic and the effects are plainly visible. The store is hip. Beats are always bumping, eye-popping art decorates the walls and the staff doesnâÄôt hesitate to engage in good-spirited conversation.

Besides basketball shoes, Studiiyo 23 also sells select menâÄôs apparel, headphones, jewelry and art, though it is the exclusive Jordan line that draws in the largest crowd of what Habib dubbed âÄúJordanheads.âÄù

For Habib, the love of the shoes goes hand-in-hand with the love of the game. Though the work is tiresome, heâÄôs very optimistic about the future of Studiiyo 23.

âÄúIâÄôm doing what I love,âÄù he said. âÄúItâÄôs definitely worth it.âÄù

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