Virgil Abloh’s tips for making it in fashion

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The aggressive world of fashion leaves no room for mediocre work and effort. Although Virgil started off as a trained architect and engineer in a firm, Abloh became a self-taught designer and later Kanye West’s creative director. Creating his own style and marching to the beat of his own drum, people close to Abloh often noted his bold fashion.

Abloh, 34, has had success with his "Off-White" clothing line, which brings streetwear out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

In an interview with Dazed Abloh said, “I felt a lot when coming up that I didn't necessarily have anyone to show me the road that you could go down, finding a career in fashion or art direction.” As he launches an online-mentorship program with Mastered, the talented designer and art director, puts a magnifying glass to the fashion industry to mentor aspiring designers.

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1. Identify your vision. “A concept, an original idea. That source of inspiration – you have to find a focal point,” says Abloh. Figure out your direction, he says. “If it comes with ease, the more convincing it will be to the public.”

2. Find your crew, the ones that will propel you in the right direction. “I'm just surrounding myself with people that are creative and have a high taste level.”  He goes on to stress the importance of to belong to a creative network that pushes your work to the next level.

3. Don’t get hung up on Instagram.

“I think people can lose sight of the fact that the clothes have to relate to real people, and not just to like, digital things or a digital response, When marketing yourself it all comes down to how you would like your audience to perceive your art. It’s all about appeal."

4. Don’t expect to have success overnight Abloh advises that creativity takes time.

“But it happens at a certain pace, it can't happen fast. It's a good thing to just put your head down and get on with it. It takes years to be successful, it's not something that happens overnight.” Abloh was able to make a name for himself with the launch of his DIY clothing brand Pyrex Vision and Off-White apparel.

5. Be aware of what’s out there, but stay original.

 “I think that being aware is important – you have to look at a lot, you have to study a lot and immerse yourself in what's happening, Knowing what’s out there isn’t bad, it will you see what others are doing and try and create different to stand out."

6. Keep focusing on what’s next. Don’t spend too much time on losses or recognizing your wins. You have to have the on to the next mentality. 

“My outlook on creating is that it’s part of a process, and you need to always be able to go on to the next idea, no matter if it's a success or a failure.” Always be ready to do more and be better.   

Kanye West has previously been quoted to say, “Virgil is one of the smartest, fastest, most innovative people I’ve created with”.

Virgil Abloh has managed to assess the fashion scene and world of creative minds to lend those aspiring to step foot in the fashion world. With these six tips, you’ll be ready to kickstart your career in no time.


This program is for the next generation of leaders who have brands they want to take to the next level and the hunger to do so.

You’ll be inspired, educated and accelerated but you must be willing to learn what you and your brand are capable of. You’ll work to get your brand ready to be shown to the world and learn if you can make it.

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