When I heard Complex was hosting its first ComplexCon expo in Long Beach this year, I knew I had to find a way to go. First, I’m an avid Complex reader. Second, the event was curated by the likes of Pharrell and artist Takashi Murakami (who I actually spotted in person, signing autographs on site!). Third, there were going to be speakers like Daniel Arsham and sets from artists like Virgil Abloh. Luckily, I ended up being able to attend on behalf of my agency, Zocalo Group.
The expo was an assault on the senses (in a way I welcomed) – there were really innovative booths from various brands, tons of fashion from streetwear brands, a section for art and a stage for performances.
One of my fave panels I caught featured Daniel Arsham of Snarkitecture and Ronnie Fieg, founder of the KITH brand. They talked a lot about design and architecture and fashion and building immersive experiences for consumers. Another one of the panels I sat in on featured actor and activist Jessie Williams, who was as eloquent as you’d expect. He helped co-found the app Ebroji and led an interesting discussion around language. The GIF keyboard app features categories like “Michael Jordan crying” and “eye roll.” I found it intriguing that the app founders wanted to take a different approach to labeling emotions, moving away from traditional terms to authentically connect with a digital-savvy, diverse audience.
While in LA, I snuck in a visit to LACMA, which I’d never visited before. I was able to get in free thanks to reciprocal membership benefits with the Art Institute of Chicago. Naturally, I had to pose with the iconic lamp posts outside the museum!