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Complexcon 2018

Chaos. Growth. Enlightenment.

Editor’s note: Worlds colliding between visionary pop culture enthusiasts and young, political activists at ComplexCon. This year, ComplexCon focused on the enlightenment and empowerment of artists, reflecting the issues and conversations that permeate and influence culture today from entertainment to art to politics. Read on as our Art Director, Chris Cao, guides you through his experience this weekend.

Long Beach, California held yet another successful Complexcon.  For those of you unfamiliar with the 2 day extravaganza, it’s where all of fashion, art, music, food, street, and sports culture collide. It’s pretty much a giant fun retail fun house with all of your favorite brands and celebrities hanging out.

This years cultural and executive directors of the event was none other than Pharrell Williams and Takashi Murakami (As seen below). These 2 helped to curate an amazing consumer experience through art and design.  For those unfamiliar with Takashi’s work, I’d give him a quick google. He’s probably worked along side with some of your favorite artists to date. You ever heard of Kanye, Drake or Kid Cudi?

Some of the more notable things I saw recurring throughout the spaces were the crazy selections of rare vinyl toys available. Everything from extremely rare Bearbricks to Kaws. Bait and X-Large showed up proper displaying some the most coveted pieces at the show.

The top three most hyped booths of the show definitely had to be the Diamond Supply x Nike SB, Atmos, and Billionaire Boys Club. Why? Because they had the most exclusive items. Nicky Diamonds set to release his 3rd collaboration with Nike even had to shut down the line the first day due to chaos. Legendary Japanese brand Atmos also had a great collaboration with Nike, a white low top Air Force 1 with crazy snake skin to drive kids nuts over.  Finally, BBC had a great collaboration with NERD and Adidas, causing all Star Trak fans to wait hours for a chance to cop some exclusive products.

One notable favorite upcoming brand of mine would have to be Mike Cherman’s Chinatown Market. Tons of great designed apparel with a station to customize all the product you want, leaving consumers with a great one of kind experience and product.

Joshua Vides, arguably this year’s top emerging artist in the scene, did a great activation with Herschel Supply and Ebay.  Starting his career customizing sneakers, he has now moved on to making giant art installations and even having Lebron wearing some of his works.

My personal favorite thing to observe was activation design. Every brand had created their own little world for you to experience. Some filled with tons of product, some just art, and some with both. It’s great to see far street culture and art have come in a linear path the past few years. Complex did a great job showing that.

Overall, a great experience! Some might say it was overwhelming at times.Thanks for having us Complexcon! Until next year.

Chris Cao | contributor

Chris Cao | Art Director at Villa and DTLR. Just happy to be here.

November 5, 2018

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