The Homogenization of Streetwear at ComplexCon

Try as they might to fight it, there’s a bit of ennui permeating streetwear right now.
Maybe it was the corporate sponsorships and ubiquitous partnerships, or maybe it’s the $400 “vintage” windbreakers and $120 canvas totes, but diminished enthusiasm was apparent at Complex Media’s fourth annual ComplexCon in Long Beach, Calif., this year. Essentially a fancy flea market for hypebeasts, albeit one that does in the low tens of millions of dollars in product sales, many owners of brands that paid to be at this year’s event openly wondered about the future of the subculture-turned-industry, and how meaningful a presence at such an event is. Especially when larger, corporate brands are now taking up much of the space in hopes of not necessarily generating sales, but simply being seen by a younger male shopper they’re desperate to appeal to.
“These things are best when the true authentic brands are here,” Mike Cherman, founder of Chinatown Market, said. While he admitted that some huge brands have the authentic strain he’s talking about, like Nike and Puma (which he partnered with this year and in previous years), plenty of others participating do not. 
“It gets lost in the sauce,” he added. “The corporate guys come

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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