Virgil Abloh Announces "Free Game" Mentorship Series
While much of the country was shaken awake again to racial injustices this year with the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, Black men like Virgil Abloh are keenly aware of racial tensions every day. That's what makes his ascent in the fashion world as the founder of Off-White and head of menswear for Louis Vuitton so remarkable.
Now, Abloh has launched "Free Game," a mentorship series where he breaks down the process of how to start a brand in the similar process that he's built his companies. Each step, including naming your brand, obtaining a trademark and how to utilize various tools of the trade has a blurb of explanation from the designer as well as an accompanying video from an expert to further unpack the path to success. Abloh also includes glimpses into his personal inspirations, sharing two lectures that he's given and concluding with a segment featuring music videos from Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Pharrell and Skepta.
"As part of my long-standing initiative to see design, art, and culture more inclusive to young Black designers and those coming from non-traditional backgrounds, I wanted to assist in providing the means for them to advance on the road to ownership of their ideas and brands," Abloh says in a press release. "I am launching this organic platform for widespread access to information and mentorship.The exact notions and tools that I used to formulate my career open to all. For free."
The "Free Game" website says it will be updated with content from Abloh's friends and contemporaries to provide additional perspective and tools for aspiring creatives. The program is a continuation of the work Abloh did by establishing the "Post Modern" scholarship fund, a partnership with the Fashion Scholarship Fund (FSF) that committed $1 million toward scholarships for Black students in fashion. Beyond scholarships, the FSF supports career development by providing internships, mentorship and networking.
Abloh recently collaborated with Mercedes-Benz to design a model G-Wagon that raised $160,000 for the "Post Modern" fund, quite a few Virgils.