In 2019, Complex launched its “Brands to Watch” activation at ComplexCon—first at our Chicago stop and then our annual Long Beach event. The initiative is a way for us to support emerging brands and designers we believe in—an essential part of Complex’s DNA. 

As you may have noticed, ComplexCon is going to look different this year. Due to COVID-19, we’ll be doing a virtual experience instead. ComplexLand, which will take place from Dec. 7-11, is a free, open-world virtual destination that will bring together the worlds of music, fashion, food, tech, and more. You’ll still be able to catch incredible panel conversations, cop pieces from various brands, watch live performances, and more. You’ll even be able to create and customize your own avatar. 

That said—digital or not—we wanted to continue our “Brands to Watch” activation. This year, I, along with our Deputy Style Editor, Aria Hughes, and staff writers, Mike DeStefano and Lei Takanashi, chose four brands that we feel have a unique story and vision. Darryl Brown’s eponymous line, launched in 2019, is inspired by workwear and his own experiences actually wearing those garments (he worked as a steelworker for General Motors and a railroad engineer). Jasmine Plantin, a textile artist and menswear designer, who explores the African diaspora through her one-of-a-kind hand-dyed Ampwata T-shirts. Beth Birkett founded Bephies Beauty Supply to reimagine commerce for women of color. There’s also Madrell Stinney’s Saint Ivory, a women’s streetwear brand whose focus is to use products to raise awareness around influential women in the creative industry. 

Stay tuned to Complex for more in-depth stories on each brand and designer, and what they’ll be doing at ComplexLand. You’ll definitely want to keep these brands on your radar.

ComplexLand takes place from Dec. 7 to Dec. 11. Sign up for more info and access at complexland.com.