The famous Los Angeles Family Style Festival is undergoing a significant transformation. Now acquired by the digital media company Complex, the festival is all set to expand beyond the annual event into a new division focusing on food publications and events. This evolution of the festival promises to bring a blend of streetwear culture and culinary innovation, redefining its identity and reach. 

Founded in 2019 by Ben Shenassafar and Bobby Kim of the streetwear company The Hundreds, along with event producer Miles Canares, the Family Style Festival has become a staple in the LA food scene. What sets this festival apart is its unique mashups, where local streetwear brands are paired with famous chefs and restaurants, creating a vibrant atmosphere that attracts over 10,000 attendees annually. Previous collaborations included notable pairings like Russ & Daughters with the Hundreds, Uncle Paulie’s Deli with Modernica, and Burger She Wrote with Gallery Dept. This innovative approach is sure to intrigue our audience. 

Complex’s acquisition of the event is part of a broader strategy to launch a new food and video publication called Family Style. This venture is expected to create an intersection of streetwear, food, and culture, extending the festival’s influence. Aaron Levant, CEO of NTWRK and Complex, envisions this new development as a resource for individuals who crave food content but often need help finding it. 

Speaking about Complex’s new move, Shenassafar, who hosts Big Appetite on the Tastemade network, reassures the audience, saying, “We play a crucial role for an audience that craves food content but often finds it elusive.” He further emphasizes the founders’ commitment to demystifying food editorials for a younger, perhaps intimidated audience. According to him, Family Style perfectly aligns with Complex’s ethos and audience, ensuring everyone feels included and catered to. 

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This year, the festival is set to take place in October in Los Angeles, followed by an appearance at ComplexCon, a music and culture festival, in November in Las Vegas. These events will pave the way for the highly anticipated launch of the new division, with a content team in place before the year’s end. This expansion is a testament to the founders’ vision of integrating diverse cultural influences into the food and streetwear narrative and is sure to ignite excitement among our audience. 

Sharing his inspiration behind The Hundreds and its application to Family Style, Shenassafar explains that this love for punk, surf, and hip-hop styles led to the foundation of Hundred. This eclectic approach will also shape the publication’s content, covering street food, taco stands, chilaquiles, and collaborations with renowned chefs like Jon Yao of Kato and Evan Funke of Felix, Funke, and Mother Wolf. Despite the dominance of social media and YouTube, Shenassafar values traditional journalism for its legitimacy, ensuring that written content remains the backbone of this new venture. 

Initially, one area that Family Style will steer clear of is restaurant reviews. Shenassafar stated, “That’s a very tricky situation, and I’m not sure we want to put our toes into it yet.” Instead, the focus will be discussing new openings, recommending where to eat, and exploring various city locales. This publication aims to provide a distinct voice on the best dining and drinking spots without delving into the often-contentious realm of reviews. 

Complex’s journey as a print magazine reflects its adaptive and innovative spirit, from its foundation by fashion designer Marc Ecko in 2002 to its acquisition by Buzzfeed in 2021 and subsequently by NTWRK in 2024. This new venture, Family Style, carries that legacy forward, promising engaging content related to food and streetwear culture.