What I Learned From Taking Virgil Abloh’s Brand-Building Class

Step 11 of “Free Game,” Virgil Abloh’s new platform meant to help aspiring designers create their own clothing lines, is simply titled “Personal Mentors.” The content of the “lesson” consists of an interview with Peter Savile, the graphic designer most famously known for Joy Division’s iconic Unknown Pleasures album artwork. “My personal mentor: Peter Saville – this video taught me millions of things,” the entirety of Abloh’s caption reads. In one choice anecdote from the interview, Saville describes going to a museum and being inspired to put Henri Fantin-Latour’s “A Basket of Roses” on the cover of New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies. You may remember Abloh’s earliest Off-White pieces printed with Caravaggio’s work. “Free Game” positions Abloh similarly, an available mentor to would-be designers anywhere with an internet connection. “Free Game” can tell us about more than just starting the next great American brand, though. You know what they say: if you really want to know someone, take their free online course on branding. And even a cursory run-through of the program reveals an awful lot about its creator: how he thinks about brands and design, his own roles at Off-White and Louis Vuitton, and the path to becoming a designer in 2020. Read more at GQ.