COMPLEX: 5 Brands To Know Before They Blow Up

There are a handful of veteran menswear brands that have a commanding influence on the fashion industry, like PradaLouis Vuitton, and Fear of God. These substantiated brands bring the heat with each new drop, and have countless aficionados patiently awaiting the next coveted arrival. That being said, not all ingenious designs are born in top design houses. There are insanely creative designers at the helm of up-and-coming labels that are just as good, if not better than their established counterparts. Brands like Casablanca, Random Identities, and Paria Farzaneh are perfect examples of rising stars that fall into that camp. In an industry with bland simulacrums of the latest trend and a lot of noise to sift through, the five brands ahead are a sure bet. Cop now before they become household names, and thank us later…. READ MORE


REFINERY29: 8 Chic Items You Can Buy At The Drugstore (Really!)

Walgreens has always been my favorite store. Growing up, I'd ask my parents for Walgreens gift cards on any given holiday. But the one by my house in downtown Chicago was different than the average location. Besides the stock of amazing knickknacks, like the hilarious red inhaler clip I wore on my jeans (the only time I loved having asthma), it also sold rad clothes. 
No, seriously. It sold clothes. And the store never ceased to amaze me. One day, I'd find sweatpants with "Chicago" plastered on the butt. The next, I'd score a vintage-looking pullovers that read "The Windy City." Plus, there were always homemade-looking tees, dresses, and sweats that made me wonder if a friend of mine was making and selling them on the down-low. It became a cool, secret place to shop; only a few other kids from the neighborhood knew of the splendors inside that Walgreens — and we relished in it.... READ MORE


REFINERY29: Why Kendrick Lamar's Sneaker Designs Actually Mean Something 

When it comes to famous white kicks, there are some perennial key players. Adidas' Stan Smiths have receied all the street style star love lately; Vans got a ton of buzz recently thanks to the "Damn Daniel" video's viral success — but then there are the enduringly cool heritage white sneaks, like Nike's Air Force 1 and Reebok Classics. When Reebok Collaborated with Kendrick Lamar last year, the brand brought a heightened level of attention to their signature style. 

The power of this type of alliance — a celebrity aligns with a brand, and the shoe sells — is well-documented, particularly with sportswear brands. Lamar is incredibly vocal about sociopolitical issues: take this year's incredibly powerful Grammys performance, for which he performed in handcuffs and a prison uniform, against a backdrop of jail cells. Or, virtually any song title or lyric in his most recent album, To Pimp A Butterfly, which is filled with powerful messages about race and class... READ MORE


The Best Trends To Know (& Try) From Fashion Week

Runways are oozing with new trends (obviously). But each year, it gets harder and harder to sift through them all. Our favorite fast fashion houses are restocking shelves nearly every week and more and more brands are adopting a "see now, buy now" mentality, meaning tons of runway pieces will be available ASAP. With that type of landscape, it can feel like you're running in a hamster wheel trying to follow what's trending. But not all hope is lost. The climate may be changing, but that doesn't mean you can't keep up... READ MORE