ComplexCon Hit Chicago and We Were There

A look at the Art Basel for hypebeasts

In 2016, Complex introduced the world to ComplexCon, a first-of-its-kind cultural festival. Held in Long Beach, California, it turned the city’s convention center into a marketplace mecca filled with hyped brands, musical performances by both familiar and upcoming artists, food trucks from every sector of global cuisine and panel conversations on streetwear’s ever-changing landscape. This year, ComplexCon made its way to Chicago to hold its cultural experience at McCormick Place. 

The two-day event could be described as the Art Basel for hypebeasts and featured long-awaited brand collaborations like Chinatown Market pairing with Converse, Japanese streetwear boutique Atmos teaming up with Nike, and New York–based designer Eric Emanuel presenting his first reiteration of the famous Allen Iverson Reebok Answer V basketball shoe, which drew long lines and mini frenzies. ComplexCon’s creative curator—world-renowned contemporary artist Takashi Murakami—was also present and autographed VIP pass holders’ memorabilia, adding to the mix of his colorful iconic mascot bear and characters displayed throughout the space.

Chicago natives such as designer Don C could also be seen on the NBA 2K20 panel with Karl-Anthony Towns discussing how the franchise is more than just a video game and how it has impacted hip-hop culture. Fear of God creator and designer Jerry Lorenzo unveiled a new addition to his Essentials brand with the help of New Era. The two created a fitted Fear of God hat with the brand’s signature “F.” It was also rumored that Lorenzo would be releasing his Nike collaboration basketball silhouette, the Fear of God 1 “Amarillo” colorway, that many attendees have been searching for since its debut on Complex Cover alongside musician John Mayer back in November 2018. 

When all is said and done, ComplexCon Chicago was just a small glimpse of what we can expect from this cultural phenomenon’s return to Long Beach in November.

Take a look at what we saw on the first day.

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Eddie Quinones for ONE37pm
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Eddie Quinones for ONE37pm
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