ComplexCon this year was borderline overwhelming. Our agenda this year was simply to absorb and get inspired by the ComplexCon(versation) dialogue, see the latest and greatest from some of our favorite brands, and seed ANTIDOT Sneaker Deodorizer + Fragrance to a few friends, acquaintances and notables. The crowds in the marketplace were overwhelming so we did a quick run through downstairs and spent most of our time upstairs listening instead.
Unfortunately although we weren't able to partake in and absorb "The Art of Collab" Con(versation) on Sunday [where Jeff Staple converses with Hiroshi Fujiwara/Fragment, Sarah Andelman/Colette, Andrew "3000" Benjamin, & Jon Wexler/adidas], we did manage to get ourselves into three of Saturday's Con(versations). The first was "Drop Science" [Hosts Chris Gibbs & Karizza Sanchez talk to Jerry Lorenzo, Deon Point, Kevin Le, A$AP Ferg, Bradford Shellhammer and Racks Hogan]. The second was "What is Money? Currency and CryptoCurrency" (Host Mark Ecko talks to Joe Lubin, Iddris Sandu, Nipsey Hussle and Galia Benartzi]. We ended off with "Hype East" [Chris Gibbs talks to Hiroshi Fujiwara, Takashi Murakami, Don C. and Yoon Ambush].
Chris Gibbs did a great job providing insight, perspective and history into the full circle of streetwear's evolution and how Japan played an integral role in its inception. Considering our Japanese lineage, we definitely felt a sense of pride in what Chris spoke about to his panel -- in a nutshell, how certain key individuals such as Hiroshi Fujiwara, Jun Takahashi and Nigo took what they were interested in and put their own twist on it. And how this grew from a single cell organism to what it is today. We were able to hear both sides of the coin.
Some of our highlights from ComplexCon...
+Hearing Hiroshi's analogy, in his own words, of Mercedes and AMG to Nike and HTM was very cool.
+Yoon from Ambush's view on how she (and this current generation) sees things internationally now and no longer just an East influences West and vice versa. Also that Ambush isn't necessarily "streetwear," but instead influenced by streetwear and other areas of interest and that their jewelry creations are the synergistic output of it all of it.
+Hearing Don C. talk about how he and Kanye fan out on Murakami and Fujiwara and his respect for their utmost attention to detail.
+The overall humble and honest tone set by Chris and carried throughout the panel was amazing. But then again, that's very Japanese. And as I think about this now, even the perception of Japanese nuances has changed over the years, in a good way.
+Giving Poggy of United Arrows & Sons and his friends a few bottles of ANTIDOT [ Deodorizer + Fragrance ] Premium Sneaker Freshener.
It's the reason I've always gravitated towards streetwear. Being born in a society of rules and construct and assuming that's how things should be. It's like eating bland food in a cafeteria for most of your youth not knowing fresh sushi, delicious pasta, or an accurately measured negroni with the right ingredients exists. And then experiencing it for the first time.
Breaking the rules. Mixing things that aren't supposed to be mixed. I love that the underdog has won. What was your first experience/portal into streetwear/culture? Mine were entities such as Evil Monito, Digital Gravel and The Hundreds. Rickey Kim, Nima, Bobby Hundreds. Rob Heppler form The Weekly Drop. ComplexCon was living proof that everything we couldn't even imagine has become a reality.
Chris is right. There's something intangible yet intrinsic about a brand that puts their all into a product or service.