As the year nears an end, ComplexCon 2023 exceeds expectations with rising brands, local food and celebrity appearances. Held this year at the Long Beach Convention Center, the two days were filled with conversations surrounding streetwear fashion, art, food, and music from the newest and hottest brands of 2023.
People from every corner gathered and lined up together November 18th and 19th in Southern California to explore their creative endeavors and share space inside a convention center. Celebrities such as Jim Jones, Lil Yachty, and Sean Evans bumped shoulders with local business owners and fans as they walked around the marketplace floor and visited the various sights to see.
ComplexCon Two-Day Recap
As you enter the convention center and descend down the stairs, you enter a floor with vast amounts of booths and artistic cubicles. This year’s creative director was Cactus Plant Flea Market, which brought together visitors who are curious to interact and buy new art with entrepreneurs who have set up space to represent their brand and express its meaning in physical form. Rising clothing lines, artistic displays, and interactive exhibits such as game shows were the type of experiences the marketplace floor was full of.
Ghetto Rodeo, a Mexican brand created to tribute the brother of the owner and to represent Mexican & Latinx communities, was also in attendance. The brand is composed of hats, t-shirts, hoodies for all genders. It is expressed by color palettes that include of the colors of the Mexican flag and neutrals. Find an exclusive interview with the brand owner Brian Saucedo on our Youtube coming soon.
Woman owned brands, such as Girls Who Dress Like Boys, made an appearance at the convention to represent a brand that “cater to unisex sizing” says Kimberlyanne Mendoza, the brand owner. In a short interview, she explains that she created the brand for woman who are similar to her and have a tom-boy vibe and wish to be comfortable, seen, respected, and catered to.
First We Feast Lagoon
Outdoors was where one would head if they were looking to try an abundance of different types of food. You could find many different categories of food to savor such as American, Mexican, Asian, and French cuisine. Espolón Tequila teamed up with Hot Ones to create a flavorful experience for those who attended the convention. They did this by providing free hot pockets, exclusive merchandise, and the chance to meet Sean Evans from Hot Ones.
Local Los Angeles restaurants and food trucks were stationed outside as the busy crowd waited for their chance to order. A well known Angelino, previously named in top LA publications as a must try vendor, All Flavor No Grease was at the entrance of the food land. The menu is made up of tacos, burritos, and quesadillas. These had an American twist that make the already promising food that much more flavorful.
Pastries were also made available for those who were looking for something sweet to sink their teeth into. Brique French Tostery was set up in the middle of the grounds, but the aroma of the fresh baked toast drew attention from the surrounding bouquet of fragrances. One could find whatever it was that their taste buds were itching for at the First We Feast Lagoon.
Although the main floor was made for creatives of all kinds to sell their brand and network, other important conversations being held in a smaller room by big names next door. On the first day, Complexcon hosted “Future Genesis: How Oakley Evolved While Staying True to Their Brand DNA”. A panel held by host, Aria Hughes and guests, Caio Amato, Brian Takumi, Diamond DeShields, and Bobby Hundreds. Oakley brand ambassadors, collaborators and creative directors discussed how the brand founded a specific aesthetic and unique essence. This paved the way to create trends that always were and still are relevant to this day.
Aria Hughes also hosted “What’s Next For Streetwear” conversation with creative directors and brand owners Nick Holiday, Luka Sabbat and Sonya Sombreuil. Here the brand owners of Marking Distance and Come Tees, Sabbat and Sombreuil spoke about why they created their brands and the long term goals that reside within each clothing label. Nick Holiday spoke about the rough beginnings that make up his brand, Holiday, while Sabbat spoke about how the future of streetwear. Which he claims depends on shining a light on the communities from all around the world such as Japan and London. He mentioned that listening to their stories would be “fresh”, seeing how unfamiliar we are to their style and ways of living.
Sneakerheads looked forward to the final conversational panel held by Joe La Puma to discuss “Sneaker of the Year”. Guests Lil Yachty, Kristen Crawey, DJ Clark Kent and Jim Jones shared their individual opinions on the list of sneakers which some of the guests were impressed by and others were not.
Celebrity Appearances and Artistic Performances
Both days were filled with all forms of celebrities roaming the convention to shop then headed to the Cactus Buddy! stage to perform. The Los Angeles Clippers point guard, Russell Westbrook popped into the The Marathon Clothing booth founded by the late Nipsey Hussle. Jim Jones was also walking around the floor and stopped by the B.B. Simon section to check out the eccentric styles of imported belts and European buckles that are assorted with Swarovski Fashion to create both a fashion statement and a work of art.
Various artists joined the stage to perform for the attendees of the convention. Performances by Zack Bia were special due to the fact that he brought out iconic guest performers such as YG, Don Toliver, and OHGEESY. Lil Yachty put together a DJ set to perform on the Cactus Buddy! stage and featured two unreleased songs that left many fans wondering when they are set to release.
Kid Cudi conducted an hour long performance in which he continuously spoke and engaged with crowd to endure the last hour of the weekend long convention. He started by opening with ones of his latest single releases “Ill What I Bleed“, then continued by playing songs from his 2020 album Man on the Moon III: The Chosen. Kid Cudi suprised fans when he shared that he had prepared to play music from his upcoming album Insano which will be released in 2024. For long time Cudi fans he played music from Man on the Moon: The End of Day such as Solo Dolo and Soundtrack 2 My Life.
As the weekend came to an end, everyone who attended the art and fashion filled convention went home with memories that will last forever, satisfied tummy’s, and probably some new hoodies and sneakers.