November 24, 2022

By Betti Halsell

Assistant Managing Editor


ComplexCon is a visual display of power in Black culture; showcasing a strong narrative of streetwear, shoes, food, and music—ComplexCon is the central hub for trailblazing styles, charged with inspiration from the BIPOC community.


This two-day event was held in Long Beach, California, on Nov.19-20.


Led by noted Japanese artist, Verdy, the festival displayed the future of pop culture, which included a number of Black-owned brands.

Award-winning artist, Trinidad James, carved out a space at ComplexCon, to host his new creative project, Hommewrk, an apparel brand emphasizing the strength of knowledge that goes into its design.


Trinidad James noted his other emerging line at ComplexCon, Dad Socks, showcasing a major collaboration with PGA as a Black-owned sock company.



Reflecting on the significance of Black culture that’s embedded into ComplexCon, Trinidad James said, “When it comes to Black culture—one of the most powerful forces in the world—it is vibranium …”

He acknowledged the exclusivity, emotion, passion and power that’s within the collective community.



“Anywhere that you put Black culture—it’s going to be amplified. You can help amplify it or we’re going to take over and amplify it. That’s the beauty of it.


I love being a part of it, I love learning from it.  I love being a gatekeeper when I can be and I love being a student when I have to be,” said Trinidad James.


Owner of Vertabrae, Dyeland London, reflected on the imprint of Black culture at ComplexCon and stated, “Black culture impacts everything that we do every day.”


London emphasized the importance of being a part of this event, “ComplexCon is for marketing and product placement,” he continued, “product placement is the best thing for any brand.”


Vertabrae is a high-end streetwear brand based out of Atlanta. As a unisex label, Vertabrae caters to all genders and ages. Other Black-owned clothing brands that participated in ComplexCon included Royal.2, Carrots and Union.




NPR Music Social Media Production Assistant, Ashley Pointer, considered the power of Black culture, as she stated, “A lot of fashion and things that are really prevalent in our communities comes out of our own creativity. It comes out of what we have and what we can get access to, and we make it pop.”

“It inspires everyone—our repurposing, the way that we creatively go about things.

That’s what inspired a lot of what’s happening here (ComplexCon), you see a lot of people venturing out and tapping into other spaces, and it's really cool to see. It comes from that repurposing spirit that we have within our community.”


ComplexCon was made of three parts; the convention center, Eat Your Feed Festival, and the space where major artists performed on the closing night of the convention.


Bape owner, Nigo, headlined along with Pusha T, Clipse, Kodak Black, and Teriyaki Boyz.

There were culturally diverse food options at the Eat Your Feed Festival, from traditional American to Asian-infused delicacies. Kevin Hart’s new vegan food, Hart House, provided clean food options alongside All Flavor No Grease (AFNG).


Owner of AFNG, Keith Garrett, elaborated on his experience at ComplexCon and stated, “Shout out to ComplexCon, they discovered AFNG and we have been friends ever since. It’s an epic event and every year it’s growing — I appreciate the invitation and I always look forward to next year.”

ComplexCon is a physical depiction of the electricity Black culture carries. It is the key centerpiece for trailblazing trends infused with inspiration from the BIPOC community, showcasing a powerful story of streetwear, shoes, food, and music.

Find out more about Hommewrk by visiting Visit, to learn more about Vertabrae.

Category: Arts & Culture