ComplexCon Top 5 Highlights: Pharrell Debuts New Jumpsuit and More From Day 1

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Pharrell Williams performs at ComplexCon 2017 on Nov. 5, 2017 in Long Beach, Calif.

Thousands descended on the city of Long Beach, Calif., on Saturday (Nov. 4) for day 1 of ComplexCon, Complex's two-day festival featuring everything from panels, exhibition space for clothing and other vendors, performances and more. 

The second annual festival touted a larger crowd than last year, with hundreds of attendees lined up around the building of the Long Beach Convention Center as early as 48 hours before the festival doors opened.

Not surprisingly, the festival is a way for brands to entice young consumers to purchase exclusive drops like sneakers and clothing in conjunction with entertaining crowds with anticipated performances and informative panels. 

Check out the top five highlights:

Pharrell x G-Star Raw Collection Release

<a href="/music/Pharrell-williams">Pharrell</a>'s presence was in full effect again this year at ComplexCon, as he had several key appearances lined up, including the highly anticipated <a href="/music/nerd">N.E.R.D.</a> night <a href="/articles/columns/hip-hop/8023176/nerd-new-album-complexcon-night-1-recap">performance</a>. However, hours earlier, the ComplexCon curator and head of imagination for G-Star Raw unveiled the brand's new suit collection, slated for release in April 2018. Pharrell stood in the booth space donning the simple jumpsuit while flanked by secretaries at desks and an appearance from <a href="/music/J-Balvin">J Balvin</a>.

In a statement sent to Billboard, Pharrell notes, "I'm proud to be able to introduce this exciting new collection to the influential and diverse creative cross-section of industry that attends. Bringing together the two workwear uniforms -- each utilitarian and functional in their own way -- and merging them to make something entirely new and exciting, epitomizes our aim as a brand."

NIKE Air Force 35th Anniversary Celebration VIP Customization Experience

Building out a huge studio in the middle of the exhibition space, NIKE offered attendees a chance to customize shoes in celebration of Air Force 1's 35th anniversary. The AF-100 Center court featured stations for stitching, dip dyeing, riveting and more. Famous creative designer Virgil Abloh also stopped by to deliver a keynote and give a master class in the space. In addition to shoes, NIKE also offered fans a chance to purchase limited edition Air Force 1 T-shirts. 

Errolson Hugh, Public School and Don C also gave master classes, and NIKE athletes Eric Koston and Jordan Clarkson took time to check out the space. 

1800 Tequila Art Zone by MadSteez

Offering a fun reprieve from all of the madness, 1800 Tequila built a bar in the exhibition space to provide spirits for attendees as the official sponsor of ComplexCon's Art Zone. 1800's collaborative artist MadSteez talked about how the piece came to life, saying, "I was here last year and understood what was going on. So, basically, what I did was take one of my abstract paintings in 2-D and make a 3-D version out of it. I literally drew it on an iPad with a pencil, and it became a reality two weeks later." 

Rapper <a href="/music/Rich-the-Kid">Rich the Kid</a> was spotted ordering rounds at the bar, and the staff was giving out wristbands to an exclusive afterparty.

Fool's Gold and Four Loko Day Off Booth

Fool's Gold and Four Loko had perhaps the most fun booth to hang out in with their Day Off booth, located right in front of the Pigeons and Planes stage for daytime performances. The label's founder and owner, <a href="/music/A-Trak">A-Trak</a>, curated a space that featured exclusive giveaways, meet and greets with artists like Bosco, <a href="/music/Riff-Raff">Riff Raff</a> and more.

Four Loko was keeping patrons happy with samples of its products, and a VIP deck on the second floor offered a great view of performances. One cool giveaway was a necklace with a Four Loko can made of 10k gold. 

Top pick: "We In Here: Injecting Culture Into Hollywood" Panel

The ComplexCon(versations) panels provided a great alternative to attendees who weren't interested in waiting in hours-long lines to buy exclusive gear or crowd into spaces for performances. One particular panel that stood out was "We In Here: Injecting Culture into Hollywood," which featured MACRO CEO and founder Charles D. King, actor Michael B. Jordan and director Ryan Coogler.

Moderated by King, the three men spoke on Hollywood's direction in terms of diversity and whether the success of TV and films such as Insecure, Atlanta and Hidden Figures is a show of growth or just a blip in the landscape of the industry. 

The very relatable and personable Coogler spoke at length of his introduction to film through a teacher who suggested he write movies, and his girlfriend (now wife) who saved money to buy him his first Final Draft software. Coogler revealed that with every movie, he asks a question he intends to answer by the film's wrapping. For his upcoming film Black Panther, the director asked: What does it mean to be African? Insightful revelations and quick comedic moments made for an entertaining and enlightening panel.


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