The Insanity that was COMPLEXCON 17 has been recapped.

It’s around mid-afternoon in West Hollywood right now, and it’s finally quiet. It’s finally much, much calmer.

Off the balcony, I can hear the low panned din below of the Sunset Strip, dipping into the weight of it’s own peaks and valleys, in underwater Dolby surround sound.

The last weekend just kicked the shit out of (Wanderset Art Director) Drew McCarver and I. But the internet never sleeps. Some cat flew back to Seoul and already uploaded some trill ass images of his cops from ComplexCon 17, and now, we have to run thru miles of content, flicks, clips, and all types of names and numbers to piece together this hot mess neon maze that was more Wonka Factory than shopping experience.

We copped a bunch of exclusives only available at the event, and now, only available on Wanderset. They’re one offs, and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Throughout the recap, the images of the coolest shit we found are able to be clicked to shop the look.

We arrived at like 10 am sharp and the line was 6 racks deep. And if it wasn’t for my man playing the trumpet over spacey trap beats, I would have had a breakdown from the amount of hypebeasts waiting in line for the opening of the mecca at the Long Beach Arena.

We were guests of Complex ( a gazillion thanks, especially for not waiting in that line that was literally starting to get more and more aggressive and shake the metal detectors) so we zipped in. As soon as we entered, we were transported to a hyperventilating neon circus, something akin to the new Bladerunner cityscape, meets that scene in Speilberg’s AI: Artificial Intelligence where Jude Law brings Haley Joel Osment’s character to the Flesh Fair and Rogue City.

Not even exaggerating a bit. This was instant teleportation to a new universe. 

Fuck it, it was just as much Roger Rabbit’s Toon Town as anything else. 

Drew and I hooked up with the squad homies Skylar Newman and Will Payne, grabbed cameras and started the journey into the fray.

The first booth we saw in the matrix was instrumentalist and producer Mike Dean’s (Travis Scott, Kanye) MWA. The neon sign in the booth read FREE XANAX. It was too early for Drew and I to take Dean up on his offer.  If Dean was offering FREE UPPERS, I would have waited in that line like a starving ditch digger during the Great Depression.

We hooked up with Wanderset squad bro Wil Eddens at the bar and restaurant at the front of the Arena, which, slightly before lunch, was the calmest spot in the venue. We split up cash for cool cops, and rehydrated, then linked with our boy Mo ElGawy, the creative mind behind The CXX – one of the dopest brands in the game right now, and looped out to link with other cohorts.

We came across some real heat from the homies at PLEASURES and EBBETS FIELD who were inspired by the old school Dodgers – and it was probably the best piece of outerwear at the arena. 

At this point, the lines at the Nike and Adidas HQ’s were insanity. Virgil Abloh was speaking at Nike on behalf of his hugely hyped OFF WHITE x NIKE “The Ten” collaborative release.

Nike’s AIR MAX 97 in the fabled “VOLT” 90’s color way have never been not been heralded, pardon the double negative, but this year, more than any other, it seems they’re back in the limelight. We got you right here.

Drew, Mo and I checked our man Jerry Lorenzo at his wildly popular FEAR OF GOD booth. We rapped for a few minutes, and were joined by Jerry’s hilarious little son, proudly rocking his Real Madrid jersey. I tried to get him to convert to being a Liverpool fan, but the young homie wanted nothing to do with my pitch if Ronaldo wasn’t on the squad. At least he wasn’t a goddammed Manchester United fan.

Drew McCarver and Fear Of God’s Jerry Lorenzo

The pulse was starting to drain the place. ComplexCon became crushed under the weight of it’s own madness and celebration.

The once sort-of orderly flow of the event had decayed into Caligulian madness. Skylar and Will Payne left. We lost track of homies, our phone batteries dropped by the second, and when I started feeling like the Adidas booth was more of a mosh pit at Ozzfest than a display, we had to escape.

Wanderset founder Greg Selkoe and Set member and footwear icon Sneaker Steve came thru and were instantly flocked by fans of the culture that know the cats behind the curtain just as much as they know the rappers, actors, rockstars and athletes that rotate faces on pop culture’s Mount Rushmore. Dudes remembered Selkoe from being the visionary founder of Karmaloop, the biggest streetwear e-com hub of all time, and probably one of the biggest reasons that something that ComplexCon was even conceived.

Wanderset CEO Greg Selkoe with fan.

We checked out of Day 1 and drove back to West Hollywood, had a giant ass drink and burger, and went to bed. Day 2 would assault us before we knew it.

DAY 2:

Drew and I and Sneaker Steve and his awesome wife all linked up. We soundchecked at J. Balvin’s super dope booth that doubled as an Airlines (Balvin Airways).

The pulsing pressure cooker that was Day 1 seemed to subside slightly, and Wil Eddens was able to procure a gallery of really cool exclusive pieces you can shop now.

Steve and Drew filmed drops and interviews all over the arena, with top designers, models and tastemakers.

The booths at this point looked like pillaged pirate bounty at the end of the odyssey. The people started to become more Walking Dead like.  The tempo slowed, and the weed smoke got louder.

Sneaker Steve and DMC shot a dope interview at Champion, featuring this rare jawn from the big C in honor of Cali x Complex that you could only get at the event. Lucky for you we grabbed some. 

I never wanted a bed more. Lucky our good friends at NIGHT:SHIFT had us covered.

We came and saw and, to the best of our ability, we conquered. We waved at fabled artist Murakami, as the line to meet him looked 9 days long. That was 9 days I didn’t have just then. Drew and I looked at each other like 2 hobo outlaws who were just too tired to keep running from fate. We hugged it out and bid Sneaker Steve and his wife goodbye.

Murakami’s booth was filled with exclusive pieces of his art, and these few pieces of event only cops, featuring the trademark huge eyes and Tokyo pastel hyper creatures. The New Era x Murakami was a smash. Pretty sure we’re the only hub you can get these from if you weren’t standing in line for hours.

 

Then we drove back to West Hollywood, bags on bags loaded in the trunk, and collapsed under the weight of whatever it was that we just survived.

You can shop the exclusive WANDERSET x COMPLEXCON curated collection right here.

We put in blood, sweat, and tears for this. We were slaying pastel dragons and 4 eyed, winged neon hypebeasts for you.

Don’t you ever forget who your friends are.

Wanderset does it for the culture.

Author

Joey A.X is a recording artist, producer, and creative entrepreneur who hails from New Haven CT who has always had an eye for fashion and culture and art. He joins The Set as the voice for "Wander". He digs vintage black leather jackets, crude humor, thin crust pizza, speakeasys, film noir, Liverpool Football Club, and doing hood rat stuff with his friends.

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