The annual modern street-culture event, Complex Con, this year took place for two days in Long Beach, Los Angeles, United States on November 2 – 3, 2019. The event was surely be the main destination for those who are very enthusiastic about modern pop culture, ranging from sneakers, street art, music, street food to streetwear and modern fashion.
Held by the Complex Media Group, the two-day event took place at the Longbeach Convention Center and curated more than 300 participating brand tenants from both the fashion, food and street art industries. The great name of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami helped enliven this event where his work wrapped up the entire event, both from the promotion event to the Complex Con official merchandise that was collaboratively wrapped in Murakami’s signature artwork.
Aside from Murakami, other big names in the pop & fashion culture industry also enlivened this annual event, such as Verdy (Girls Don’t Cry), Pharrell Williams, Don-C, NIGO, Sean Wotherspoon (Round Two), Aleali May, DJ Clark Kent , Gary Vaynerchuck and many more.
This year marks Blvck Editions’s first time at ComplexCon and needless to say we were successfully stunned by it! The VIP lanes, which we thought made us have faster access, turned out to be in demand by many sneaker enthusiasts. The VIP entrance was packed with excitement among fellow visitors.
The Pop-Up, The Collabs, Giveaways, and What Else..
The Complex Con area is divided into 4 areas; the Main Area, First We Feast Area, Concert Area, and Complex Conversation Area.
The first booth that we headed to was the Official Merchandise Booth, which apparently also was everyone’s main goal. From cushions, pins, shirts, to special release hoodies affixed with Swarovski crystals, available as official Complex Con merchandise. All of which sold out so fast making us the lucky few to get hands on them.
Seeing the history of Complex Media in America, and how they successfully play a role in building American pop culture, it’s no wonder that many brands want to get involved in this festival. To name a few familiar brands that participated are Atmos Tokyo, Puma, Reebok, New Era, Asics, Onitsuka Tiger get to K-Switzerland. Aside from that, streetwear brands that joined the festival include Chinatown Market, Billionaire’s Boys Club, Champion, HUF and many more.
As if it was not enough to be present, nearly every brand arranged a special collaboration with the latest hypebeasts in the entertainment industry; collaborations between brands were a hype that visitors definitely did not want to miss out on. Billionaires Boys Club x Reebok, Atmos x 88Rising, Champion x Pacman, HUF x Godzilla are just a few to name. With so many special edition collaborations to take in, one day to browse around was definitely not enough.
Almost every booth at Complex Con had a long queue. The most visited booths being Atmos Japan, where they released Ultraman and Gundam special collections, as well as Air Force 1 and Air Barrage which are only released at ComplexCon; at the Chinatown Market booth was a hit among visitors who sought for customizable items with a variety of patches and artwork. Not forgetting Oldspice with their free spa sneaker facilities, as well as Pacsun retailers who carries Essential, the second line of Fear of God at retail prices.
The giveaways available at this event were definitely another highlight. Complex Media held a competition for the giveaway where the Sneaker Shopping set by Joe la Puma was the main prize, along with Air Jordan 1 Fragment Design, Air Yeezy 2 Solar Red, Nike Air Jordan 1 Off White UNC and Nike Air Tom Sacth were up for grabs to the lucky winners.
The Talks, The Food, VIPs, and More..
Complex Con-versation was a creative talk event held on the top floor with themes that are closely related to pop culture. The “Sneaker Of The Year” talk was paneled by Sean Wotherspoon, Aleali May, DJ Clark Kent and Lil Yachty who named Nike LD Waffle x Sacai the best pair this year. “What Comes After Streetwear” talk discussed what would have happened after this streetwear trend had passed.
Food at this event was not a mere sideshow, Complex Media made food culture one with the pop culture that should not be missed. One of our favorite areas was the “First We Feast Lagoon” with a delicious Veggie Chicken Burger from Veggie Fam where we were fooled by the meat in our patty.
While eating chill playlists continue to reverberate in the parklike area where sneaker celebrities occasionally passes. Youtubers like Jaques Slade, Seth Fowler, and even Jeff Staple, the creator from the legendary Nike Dunk Staple Pigeon were spotted relaxing their legs while enjoying the evening sun. Every night Complex Con closes with super cool performances, including a special performance by KID CUDI who is known to rarely appear in public.
There is almost nothing lacking in this event, it’s just very unfortunate that there was no major release from our favorite brands namely Nike and Adidas. Apart from the existing brand collaborations, VIP tickets that we bought were not really worth the benefits other than the early access and lounge where we got free Lakers x Takashi Murakami hats.
Whilst the event was a hit, the official system collection of Complex Con took nearly 3 hours to retrieve tickets due to the queues with no path separation between VIP and non VIP. Goods were also often mismanaged because the wrong labels on merchandise sold.
With all the pros and cons, did it dampen our intention to return to the Complex Con? Of course not. This event is one of the epicenters of the world of pop culture that gives its own color in each event held, plus we also had the opportunity to explore Los Angeles with its various uniqueness and excitement.
So will you go to ComplexCon next year? We certainly can’t wait long enough!