ComplexCon 2018 - Highlighting Urban Culture, Creating Possibilities, and Empowering Women to Take the Lead
On Sunday November 4th ComplexCon continued to keep the urban culture alive. Many guests left day one inspired and returned to keep that same energy rolling. Influential conversation panels such as “Women Behind the Lens” and “The Next Generation of Design” hosted by legend designer Virgil Abloh it was hard not to be motivated to follow your dreams. Not to mention the final line up on Pigeons & Planes stage had guests inpatient to start the show. Fan faves like T-pain, Tinashe, Lil Baby, Action Bronson and headliner Future, Sunday funday was in full effect and just getting started. Not only to add the biggest shoe drops of the year from Nike x Nicky Diamond and Puma x JBF Customs had ComplexCon sneaker heads going wild, with selling out in less than an hour to shutting down ComplexCon. Both these collaborations came in hot and showed urban culture with hard work, passion and dedication nothing is impossible. First we Feast had a huge surprise for Hot Ones fans featuring the one and only E-40.
I am Other became #IamVoter for the weekend, educating everyone on their voter rights and making sure they were registered to vote for the upcoming election. Every person that was registered to vote they received an Iam Other shirt. Pharrell and his team made sure that every eligible voter was ready to make their voice heard on November 6, 2018.
Pintrill activated a #GoodTrillHunting scavenger hunt throughout ComplexCon. Over 25 brands participated in the pin scavenger hunt including Reebok, I am Other, Pink Dolphin, G-Star RAW Guess and Urban Decay are just a few to name. Jordan Roschwalb CEO of Pintrill helped design custom pins for the brands to hand out during the scavenger hunt. His passion for pins started at a young age, as a child he started collecting pins as a hobby. In 2014 Jordan turned that hobby into a business by opening his first shop in Brooklyn, New York. During a hard time in his life he quickly discovered that he could be successful making pins and not only changing his life but others in the world as well. Pintrill has quickly grown into a successful company looking to make its staple globally. Working hard on expanding his brand overseas is something Jordan only dreamed of. Its safe to say his dream have quickly become his reality in a short period of time.
Urban Decay’s tattoo Shop was one of the most talked about booths. The new launch of the Naked Cherry pallet had fans loving the new fun and flirty colors schemes showcasing shimmering pinks, warm peaches and deep burgundies. On site there were two female tattoo artists giving free tattoos of selected artwork picked out by Urban Decay team. The concept throughout by Director of experimental events Hope Bonneville who executed “Beauty with an edge” concept by making every women feel involved, beautiful and empowered during ComplexCon.
Puma x JBF Customs shoe inspiration were straight from 90s technology. Jacob Ferrato designer and Founder of JBF Customs with apprentice Phillip Avin were able to showcase his inspiration behind his RS-X shoe collaboration with Puma during an exclusive live demo. The duo showed fans a hands on approach on how JBF Customs design process works.
Jacob’s creation was a masterpiece with his simple design and clean pick of colors his shoe sold out in less than 30 minutes. Jacob “wanted his design to relate to cell phones used in the 90’s. His main shoe color is grey with white panels on the side that glow “Blue” in the dark”. His shoe also contains a hint of colors red, blue and yellow. With its sleek design and brilliant concept there's no reason why these sneakers wouldn't fly off the shelf like they did. Jacob is a master of design, he stayed true to himself and his concepts during his collaboration with Puma. For more on his latest drops and custom work check out JBFcustoms.com
Nike x Nicky Diamond collaboration shut down Complexcon. His highly anticipated Canary Diamond Dunk SB drop of 2018 there was way more chaos and hype happening within ComplexCon than compared to previous years. Nicky’s Canary Diamond Dunk design was too hot to touch, literally. Enforcement was called with fans were getting out of hand trying to buy the new exclusive sneaker. Sneakers were escorted from the marketplace area by Long Beach Law enforcement. It safe to say Nicky’s designs are a unique masterpiece, would you expect anything less from the legend designer? It was an honor to see how much he truly inspires the urban culture and deserves all the recognition for shutting down the most anticipated event in 2018.
Inspiration was given by conversation panel “Women behind the lens” hosted by Jemele Hill with special guest, Lena Waithe, Karena Evans, Nadeska Alexis and Issa Rae. These women of color have gained voices and recognition within the creative industry. It was an empowering experience hearing them speak about how they overcame the struggles to become successful within a industry that is primarily dominated by men. These women were ready to finally speak on current topics to educate women and men on how things have changed and still need to change within the innovative space. Lena feels “ Now that women are talking to each other a little bit more. We realize that there is power when we come together, rather than keeping information. When we share it with each other we see a power in that, and we see real change coming from that. This new found freedom about speaking up has come along.” Nadeska also agrees that “ There is a lot of power in inspiration. Seeing females like Karena, Lena or Issa making these big partner moves in production is inspiring.”
Nadeska makes a valid point that it helps women gain the confidence to follow their dreams when other women are paving a way to make that happen. Seeing how other women before them accomplish something that seemed so impossible at one point in time, gives women within this world a voice and power to become just as successful. In an industry that is so quick to label a black female “difficult” because she stands up for something she believes should be addressed or executed differently; Issa believes “ You either speak up and something is done the way you want it, or you suppress it and your mad at yourself that you didn’t speak up. And the show is gone or project is gone.” When opportunities in this industry come so scarce to none you have to make sure you speak up and present things the way you envision it being done.
Having an event like ComplexCon has opened so many innovative doors to many young men and women. Giving them a glimpse of what you can accomplish when have the right mindset, dedication and passion your able to make your dreams into realities. Like many of the fashion designers, musical artists, actors, produces and entrepreneurs featured at ComplexCon they were to accomplish their dreams because they believed in themselves.
This event highlights urban culture, inspires creativity, influences and promotes fashion trends. “You have to be a good person, when your stepping into a design role your putting things out into the world. It's just like a magnifying glass, you want to magnify a message in making the world a better place.” - Virgil Abloh, Rhuigi Villaseñor, Ev Bravedo