If you've ever wanted to experience the internet in real life, you should have been at ComplexCon. The two-day event brought together all of the biggest brands in the streetwear world and colorful art from Takashi Murakami. Watching everyone come out to sport the latest sneakers and show their support for artists created an energy unlike any other--or maybe that was just from the free Four Lokos they were passing out.
MISSBISH spent the weekend checking out all of the booths and merch exclusive to the event. Some favorites included the colette pop-up, PUMA, Melody Ehsani, OFF-WHITE, adidas, and more. Nike even had a full-on customization workshop in honor of the Air Force 1.
In addition to walking the Expo floor, we also attended insightful panels, titled "ComplexCon(versations)" that were just as funny as they were informative. The Sneaker Of The Year panel included some major sneakerheads like Wale and Aleali May, and was full of debate over the top ten sneakers of the year. Heads up, number one on the list was the Nike x OFF-WHITE Air Presto. Everyone on the panel agreed that it derived the spot, but many of the other sneakers came in close.
In between catching glimpses of celebrities chilling at booths--um, hey Big Sean at PUMA--there were also music performers at a smaller stage on the side of the Expo. Virgil Abloh even made an appearance DJing while quotes like, "You're going to talk about this tomorrow" and images of a rapper drinking lean were displayed on the screens below him. Another highlight performance of the weekend was the N.E.R.D. listening party at the end of Day 1. Pharrell brought out a huge group of talented dancers and stunning cars while the crowd got a first listen to the upcoming album, No_One Ever Really Dies. A full-on dance party occurred and it was an amazing way to wrap up the first day.
Day 2 felt a little more chill and we took it a bit easier--even though there was just as much going on. The music alone was enough to keep us hyped, as we caught acts from Chloe x Halle, NoName, and Pharrell's i am OTHER #BeGreat party. All throughout the day, there were surprise guests brought out, making it difficult to even blink without the fear of missing something. The Leading Ladies panel hosted by Chelsea Handler also left us feeling inspired, as the panel full of women in entertainment gave us their personal stories of struggle and what they think of the Feminist movement.
My personal favorite moment of the weekend was Sunday's Virgil x Takashi: Retrospectives in Collaboration & Superflat discussion. I felt lucky to even be in the same room as such huge but humble talents. Takashi revealed to the small crowd that when he was first approached to do a collaboration with Louis Vuitton, he didn't know anything about the fashion world or even know the brand. He went ahead with the collaboration after being advised by his team--and funnily enough, a wallet from the Louis Vuitton x Takashi Murakami collection was the first luxury item that Virgil ever purchased. Virgil also spoke a bit on how luxury fashion feels like a very dated term, and how he thinks that coveted and cherished would be much better suited to this generation.
M.I.A., Young Thug, and Gucci Mane closed out the weekend with high-energy sets that made the crowd bump. It was hard to see everything and by the end of the weekend, we were beat AF. ComplexCon was a true testament to how large the streetwear world has become and proven that it encompasses a wide variety of industries. We can't wait to see what it brings next year!
Photography by: Luke Smits