The megabrand participates annually in numerous conventions focused on sneaker culture and streetwear (of which there are more every year), including Sneaker Con. But last year it skipped ComplexCon entirely for the first time since the event started in 2016 as a huge combination of brand product drops, panels, creative events and music acts. Nike at the time said there was no specific reason for it not participating.
A bit of new Nike Inc. product will be back this year, albeit in a far lesser capacity than earlier years. The brand apparently will again have no booth at the event and it is again not an advertiser, either, but it does have two co-branded products dropping. Last year it had none.
The first is a limited edition (126 pairs) of the Nike Kyrie 5 done with Sneaker Room. The second drop is a Nike collaboration with Atmos, the Harlem-based sneaker boutique. The release of the color-driven capsule collaboration, dubbed “Pop the Street,” is coming through Atmos’ presence at the convention and includes T-shirts, hoodies and Nike Air Force 1 sneaker. Similarly, the Nike products with Atmos are coming through the boutique’s presence, not Nike’s.
And those two co-branded drops are it for Nike at ComplexCon in Long Beach this year. In previous years, it had a major booth, its own participatory events, and was considered much more of an overall presence. Nevertheless, Nike did drop one if its most anticipated collaborations at ComplexCon Chicago over the summer, that being its limited edition Air Force 1 with hypebeast favorite Off-White, the brand founded by Virgil Abloh. It did a similar Off-White drop at the Long Beach event in 2017 and Nike brought in Abloh as a guest speaker.
A representative of Nike could not be reached for comment on its limited presence.
Even with Nike again declining to splash out, this year’s ComplexCon seems to have plenty of other draws for ticket holders, particularly the event’s target demo of young men, who paid between $60 for one-day general admission and $600 for VIP passes to attend.
Pharrell Williams and Takashi Murakami are hosting the weekend and Puma is the official footwear partner, dropping new product with California’s own Chinatown Market. Adidas is sure to make an impact with its launch of pieces designed by Daniel Patrick and Murakami is designing Complex’s own line of event merch. FUBU is partnering with Black Lives Matter on a capsule; Reebok is teaming with Billionaire Boys Club; Off Safety, a sort of hip-hop photo roadshow, is coming in with a shirt capsule featuring rare images of late singer Aaliyah; Champion is coming with exclusive product, too. Complex has made food a major part of the event this year, as well, with dozens of food vendors participating in a “food lagoon.” A number of musical acts are also expected, including Kid Cudi, Anderson .Paak, and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, among others, as are panelists for various talks, like Yara Shahidi, Isra Hirsi, Storm Reid, Lil’ Kim, Trina, Eve, Lil Yachty and Wale.
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