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ComplexCon brings fashion and music to Long Beach

The essence of marijuana hanging in the air and the eager faces of shoppers and hip-hop heads were sure markers of this year’s ComplexCon Saturday.

The two-day fashion event and music festival garnered thousands of style enthusiasts to its third annual convention who wore the latest trends ranging from yellow highlight statement pieces to clothing brand Fuck the Population’s $1,200 bulletproof vest.

It was hard to navigate the large space of the convention hall without realizing how under, or over, dressed you were. While the fashions deviated far from one another, one singular thread connected everyone in the space: a commitment to fashion.

Sixteen-year-old Givanni Bushe stood near the entrance beside a ginormous blow up of an animated flower with a yellow grin on it’s face, one of many art pieces littered throughout the convention, reselling his latest finds of Jordan shoes and a distinct Supreme Bible stash box.

Reselling in the world of exclusive fashion is usually defined as selling some kind of limitedly sold item at a slightly inflated price to make a profit.

“[Reselling] is just something I do for money,” Bushe said. “[I resell] for the culture, I mean it’s fun.”

“The culture” was a common buzzword Saturday during ComplexCon that during his panel, Hilfiger & Hip-Hop, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger noted how he was excited for his pieces and brand to be “a part of the culture.”

That culture could be seen as everything ComplexCon represents which is music, fashion and art.

For those who were more interested in the music aspect of the convention, the Pigeons and Planes Arena was the place to be.

On Saturday, the stage was occupied by Long Beach native Vince Staples who performed an array of his songs illuminated by gigantic security camera screens exposing the audiences every move.

Hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd mainted high-energy throughout their hour-long performance welcoming fans to throw their phones into their waiting hands to snap a quick video or photo.

The day was riddled with various conversations discussing topics ranging from sneaker talk to the correlation between memes and business and hundreds of booths selling clothing, shoes and accessories.

The convention drew people from all over including Vancouver-resident Alexis Llewellyn. Her orange jumper ensemble was eye-catching and she noted that it took her awhile to come up with the idea to wear the eccentric outfit.

To Llewellyn, ComplexCon was something that “stood out” and she saw it as a good way to network with others in her fields of acting, singing and modeling.  

The con is unique in its approach of combining seemingly different mediums of expression and interests into one event.

While ComplexCon is still in its infancy, the inklings of a cohesive and inclusive event are there and will hopefully bring more exclusive finds, panels and iconic musical performances in the coming years.

On Sunday, the convention featured performances by T-Pain, Action Bronson and Future and panels from speakers such as Nas, Issa Rae and Yara Shahidi.

Watch our video coverage of the event here:

VIDEO | Adam Pacheco

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