What’s poppin yall; Virgil Abloh pulledone of the greatest of what some would call a scam in rap and fashion history.
I used to think it was a scam but over timehave transitioned my thinking into just interpreting it as one huge finesse.
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Today you see Virgil everywhere; from hishigh selling and super limited “the ten” collaboration with Nike and Jordan, as wellas his now famous quotation marks, and his designer brand that every hypebeast and asianforeign exchange student loves, OFF-White.
But before we get into how he finessed hisway to the top of the fashion world; click the like on this video and please subscribebut more importantly hit the notification bell so you never miss a video.
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Virgil Abloh was a student at the Universityof Wisconsin and graduated with a degree in civil engineering and would go on to get amasters in architecture where he would work in that field for a very brief period of time.
Virgil’s greatest come up and what openedthe doors for him to rub shoulders with all these celebrities was meeting Kanye West.
He found out where Kanye screen printed histour merchandise and convinced the owner to introduce him to Kanye’s manager and thenbecame Kanye’s creative consultant, whatever the hell that means.
They both interned together at Fendi and thisis likely where Virgil got the skills needed to start his own designer brand.
Virgil would also open up RSVP Gallery withDon C; a store in Chicago that sells everything hype.
But the finesse REALLY starts in 2012 withthe brand Pyrex vision.
If you remember this era; you know this brand.
Basically, Virgil just screen printed pyrexon champion shorts and hoodies and sold them to young, rich, hypebeasts that would shellout $250 for some shorts and a couple hundred for the hoodies.
Now just why in the world would someone paythis much for screen printed champion clothing with just a word on it? Not even some unique and interesting design? It’s simple; hype.
Virgil worked right alongside Kanye, so hewas able to get pyrex on everyone from Kanye West, Rihanna, Jay-Z, ASAP Rocky, and manymany more.
The followers of these guys would just buyit because all the celebrities were wearing it and the profits he made from this wereridiculous.
One of the worst things though was when hegot exposed for having bought ralph lauren rugby flannels on clearance in mass amountsfor about $35 each, removed the tag, and screen printed pyrex on the back, then selling itfor $550.
That’s a 700% markup and Virgil made somuch money off this.
And sure this isn’t really a scam it’sa finesse, he’s not forcing anyone to buy this, but the way he presented himself ascaring and relatable to young people is what really bothered many people; here’s a quote.
“I just wanna start a brand that inspiresand is geared towards youth.
The internet generation, these kids that yousee here today.
It is all for them.
Growing up at high school we all used to wearChampion garments which in America are standard issue gym uniforms.
I based the majority of the pieces on thatuniform, but an important factor for me was putting numbers on the back so everyone whowears it feels like part of the team.
” Team? What team? The kind where we all get ripped off together;and to almost outright say that you’re marketing to a very young audience who are naive makesit even worse.
That’s what irked me the most; sure designerbrands like Gucci do the same thing making t-shirts $250 when we know damn well they’reless than $15 to make and they’re just selling the branding.
But they don’t go around saying they’regeared towards and inspiring the youth.
That wasn’t enough money though; he wouldgo on to start Been Trill along with Heron Preston and Matthew Williams.
It was an art collective and DJing crew thatgot huge off of capitalizing on the tumblr wave back in 2013.
Been trill relied on the same marketing tacticsas pyrex; give it to a bunch of celebrities and watch the cash roll in, and it worked.
They would have tapes, videos, and picturesall filtered with the been trill font plastered on them.
They even had an app where you could do thesame to your own photos.
This was honestly just another cash grab andt-shirt business; they even sold shoelaces that were $100 but their shirts and accessorieswere selling out and people were buying them for resell prices even.
Believe me when I tell you this was maximumhypebeast back in 2013; they would pay anything to get items and a lot of people made goodmoney reselling to these idiots, me being one of them.
Eventually been trill would die off aftercollaborating and selling it to pacsun, and anyone with half a brain could have seen thatcoming.
I couldn’t help but imagine that Virgiland his friends were all laughing and clowning the people buying this stuff saying thingsalong the lines of “look at that idiot over there with the been trill” copping our ridiculouslyoverpriced shirts, there weren’t even any garments that were crafted, they just rodethe hype wave as long as possible, like some social experiment.
I must give Virgil credit though; insteadof just spending all this cash he invested it into his now streetwear/high fashion brandOFF-White.
Fake it till you make it really must workbecause that’s what this is a story of; he’s still known for hype and really limitedreleases but since starting off-white he’s collaborated with Nike, Levi’s, Moncler, Converse, Sunglass Hut, Timberland, and IKEA.
His clothes now actually look decent; theones that aren’t emblazoned with huge graphics and designs all over them but still a ridiculousprice I couldn’t justify paying.
One thing that Virgil did that for the lifeof my I cannot understand is he has the people who buy his clothes running to his defenseon the price.
Saying stupid stuff like; broke people whonever experienced luxury clothing can’t tell the difference, the t-shirts weigh anextra oz and are made in Milan.
Man these guys be sounding like a buncha fags;most of the clothes are made in portugal and there aint no damn difference in quality tomake a hoodie worth 500 or more dollars.
They just refuse to admit that they’re buyinginto the brand, not the quality of the clothing, because they don’t want to seem like vainhypebeasts.
I don’t think Virgil is a scammer; he hadan opportunity and he sold a brand, an image, to a very impressionable and easily manipulatedconsumer base.
They got what they wanted and I’m sure atthe time they were satisfied with their purchase.
But the one thing I can’t stand is whenhe gives talks to university students or anybody really trying to give them advice on how toget to the position he’s in.
The only reason he’s in that position isbecause he had the luxury of being able to give his clothes to every celebrity in sightfor FREE, something brands pay hundreds of thousands if not millions for.
Regular people don’t have access to that;and to pretend that his success in OFF-White wasn’t entirely predicated on that is tosell yourself a blatant lie.
I’d still cop a pair of them Jordan 1s though.
But lemme know what yall think in the comments;do you think what virgil did was a scam or just a finesse.
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