Virgil Abloh has created what he describes as ”a digital resource that provides mentorship of the same format that I developed to start my own career”.
“FREE GAME” is exactly what it sounds like. It’s fair opportunity, led by him, for POC and all others who want to build their own brand. It’s a step-by-step guide that was built to empower creativity.
Provided in Step 1 is a TED talk with Jonathan Bell. Here you learn the “how to’s” behind choosing a name for your brand that will successfully communicate why your brand exists in the first place. Jonathan walks you through the 7 different categories of names. He uses examples such as Adidas, Uber, Burberry, KFC, Pinterest and more. In this step you will be able to come to a decision of what brand name will be most effective and stand out most in a world of 300 million companies.
Step 2 is about obtaining your trademark. Virgil wants you to know how essential it is to protect what you create. He shares a YouTube video in this step from Marcella Dominguez who goes the whole nine on explaining how to file a trademark application and what to expect. She elaborates on the multiple forms that your brand can come in and breaks down the USPTO website- where you will go to file your trademark application. But, I’m not gonna spoil it for you! So, if you’ve already put together the perfect name, check out this video.
Time to Create
Oh Adobe… The pain [of it costing so much] and the pleasure [of it being a one stop shop for everything you need]. Step 3 gets you started with the Adobe Creative Suite. The tutorial with TerryWhite is just shy of an hour so grab your coffee, get comfortable and tune in. Here you will get a step-by-step break down on how to use programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign. All which are very essential for designing.
Okay everyone. Step 4 is going to take a lot of materials and focus. Screen printing is an art that many brands use as their foundation for garments. The YouTube tutorial that Virgil shares is a DIY on screen printing posters. By purchasing all of the tools and supplies used in this video (which are linked) you will be able to start your screen printing journey from scratch to make the most unique garments.
Building a brand from the ground up is hard enough. Building the clothing to advertise it on is another project in itself. So, Step 5 helps you get around that. Flex McKenzie shares his top three wholesale blank t-shirt companies. This video will save you time and your wallet will thank you too. Two of the three companies anybody can purchase from. The third company which (spoiler alert!) is his favorite requires a business license. He doesn’t go into detail on how to obtain a business license so if that company just so happens to be your favorite too, step 5 ½ should be looking into that.
Make It Official
Yes, I’m talking facebook official, official. But how might you make that happen?
Behold, Step 6! It’s time to shoot a lookbook. The purpose of a lookbook is to communicate your brand in a way that is both marketable and desirable. Once you have your product you will need to market it, so don’t skip this step. There are three video tutorials one how to shoot a successful lookbook. One video gives you the scoop on how you can do it from your smartphone. Can someone say “hallelujah!”? You don’t even have to spend money on a high-class camera right away. This is your opportunity to really get creative and speak to your audience through another medium.
Where do you direct your audience to learn more and make purchases though? If you haven’t guessed it already, Step 7 is all about your website and assembling an expressive online presence. And thankfully it no longer takes being a software engineer or hiring one to successfully build a website. WordPress is one of the most used sites for building a site of your own and Jayla Koriyan walks you through the step-by-step here.
Get That Money Baby
Step 8 is going to be where you starting earning what your hard work is worth so pay close attention.
Dan Vas shares a FREE up to date video on how to create, design and build a profitable Shopify store from scratch. He focuses on the long term rather than just short term success so you can always continue to profit. Dan shares his strategy and how he’s advancing some stores to eight figures per year. Yes, EIGHT figures. Did it just get a little hot in here? *wipes sweat from forehead*
Mentally Align With Virgil
Step 9 and 10 will help you understand Virgils thinking process throughout the years of his career. He shares an archive of his lectures that were done at Harvard and Columbia. He also posted his ‘Figures of Speech’ catalogue that shares his personal experiences as he developed his career in design. His goal with his catalogue is to help others combine their several academic disciplines into one topic.
Get Inspired and Begin!
Peter Saville is a personal mentor of his. In Step 11 he posted a video that he says “taught me millions of things”. It’s an interview called ‘In Fashion’. The hour and a half long interview begins with a strong question of asking Mr. Saville what career it is that he labels himself with, after being labeled a multitude of things. You can instantly understand why Virgil himself is inspired because he as well, does not just stick to one specific path. Thus, going back to his catalogue, focusing on how to have a successful multi-disciplinary career. So, if you’re looking for inspiration and motivation to use your creative mind in more ways than one, this video is for you.
And last but in no way is it least important. Further your inspiration in Step 12! If you struggle to find new inspiration around you, Virgil shares an abundance of videos that he believes will ‘help broaden your horizons and gain more knowledge’.
Virgil has vowed to furtherance this site as more resources comes to mind and/or are shared with him. His vision is to make design, art and culture more inclusive to young black designers as well as those from non-traditional backgrounds.
Click here to kickstart your future!