All photos by Andrew Asch except where noted
As of Thursday, November 8, 2018
ComplexCon is both a hip-hop concert and massive pop-up market for high-end sneakers and streetwear. After the market closes, MCs start rhyming on the event’s stage.
When the third annual ComplexCon ran Nov. 3-4 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif., it also served as a place to launch new fashion lines.
Guess? introduced the Guess Jeans U.S.A x Places + Faces streetwear line at ComplexCon. PacSun unveiled three streetwear-savvy lines. They were Basketball Skateboards, Not of this Earth, which is designed by Los Angeles native Tracey Mills, and Fear of God – FOG Essentials. Fear of God’s much acclaimed designer Jerry Lorenzo hung out at PacSun’s ComplexCon booth.
Many brands introduced limited editions lines at ComplexCon. Dickies Girl unveiled Dickies 500 Speedway. Streaming and music service Wav unveiled the Pleasures x Wav line. There were more than 200 brands exhibiting including Aape, Kappa, Dillon Francis x Barney Cools, Ebay x Joshua Vides, G-Star Raw, Nudie, Vans, Herschel Supply Co., deodorant company Old Spice; and talking about billions served, McDonalds.
The event made way for socially conscious groups. The Black Lives Matter Network exhibited. Metro Gun Share Program raised awareness on gun violence. It also sold Metro Gun Share tees which were produced by the Obey clothing line. Sustainable line Pangaia called attention to the plastic garbage crisis in the world’s oceans.
Brands reported very good sales at ComplexCon Aaron Levant NTWRK x FaZe Clan sold out of a line of hoodies in 10 minutes, said Greg Selkoe, who works with FaZe Clan. Despite a heavy presence of brand star power at ComplexCon, emerging brands enjoyed a lot of attention, said Kacey Lynch of Bricks & Wood. " It's an overwhelming number of people, " Lynch said of crowds on the event's first day. "The bigger brands have not taken over."
Talking about star power. Here's a partial list of who showed up at ComplexCon. Pharrell Williams served on ComplexCon’s Host Committee. Hip hop stars Nas, Future, Nipsey Hussle, Big Boi made appearances. Design star Virgil Abloh spoke on a panel. Steve Aoki showed his Dim Mak Collection x Bruce Lee. Event producers Reed Pop! And Complex are planning to produce the 4th annual ComplexCon in late 2019.