ComplexCon At 4: Big Showcase & Party for Sneakers, Skate, Streetwear and Hip-Hop
The fourth annual ComplexCon ran Nov. 2-3 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. It was a retail pop-up market and fan convention for streetwear, high-end sneakers, skateboarding and hip-hop. It served musical performances, outré activations, as well as appearances by VIPs, such as hip-hop pioneer Chuck D and Timothée Chalamet. The Call Me By Your Name and Beautiful Boy actor recited spoken word before rapper Kid Cudi performed.
It also was a space to spread the word on product launches. The Von Dutch label introduced a collaboration line with hip-hop artist Tyga. Swarovski Crystal introduced crystal sequined hooded sweatshirts and a one-of-a kind skate deck made in collaboration with art star Takashi Murakami, who also serves on ComplexCon’s host committee. The ubiquitous Murakami also showed collaborations with Los Angeles Lakers and Hedley & Bennett.
The event’s VIP list also included fashion and music superstar Pharrell Williams Steve Aoki, Anderson .Paak, Lil Kim and Selena Gomez. For Old School hip-hop fans, the Puma X Def Jam activation was a big deal. LL Cool J made an appearance at the activation, which looked like a mix between a marbled museum and a graffiti-inked subway station. Public Enemy’s Chuck D sat for a talk. There also were big activations produced by energy drink Mountain Dew Amp and video game Call of Duty. ComplexCon hosted fewer exhibitors than in 2018, Robert Weinstein, a vice president of marketing for show producer Reed POP West, said in an email.
"We deliberately invited fewer exhibitors this year than we invited in 2018 to accommodate more aisle ways and make for a better overall attendee experience," he said. He did not confirm the number of vendors exhibiting at the show.
For brands, ComplexCon was a great place to make a statement, said Pooneh Mohajer, a co-founder and chief executive officer of Tokidoki.
“It’s a great place to expose the brand to consumers, and a place to expose the brand to other brands for collaborations,” Mohajer said.
“The whole streetwear community is here,” Javier Bandera, Paisaboys co-owner said. “The sense of community is here.”