Dec. 7, 2021

Episode 62 - Virgil Abloh Tribute


Episode 62 is definitely a special one, not just because your hosts are in the room together, but more because this episode is dedicated to the legend Virgil Abloh who passed November 28th. This show has given Virgil his flowers a number of times, so you know Nicky and Moose had to dedicate the entire episode to his genius and artistry!

Don’t miss this blueprint! The map Virgil left behind is one that will launch your brand or business forward exponentially! So, take out your pen and paper, grab a friend, and tune in to today’s episode.

What You Will Learn:

  • The importance of communicating the right idea.
  • The significance of simplicity.
  • Stop filling the void and let things be.
  • How perfection holds us back.
  • The importance of clearly and concisely describing your brand.
  • What collaboration entails.
  • Signs that a collaboration has peaked.
  • Signs that its time to start duplicating yourself.
  • Freedom to operate in your passion when its all you do.

 

 

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Transcript

Nicky Saunders  
What's poppin'? What's poppin'? What's poppin'? Welcome to Nicky and Moose! I'm Nicky! That's Moose! What’s up Moose?  

Mostafa Ghonim  
What up y'all?

Nicky Saunders  
And welcome to episode 62. You see it, we are live right in the flesh, we're live. But this is going to be a very special special episode we are going to tribute this whole episode to somebody we covered earlier. Right, but a super icon, Virgil Abloh, this is going to be a whole tribute to some of the lessons that we both personally personally, I don't even know if that's word, but you know what I mean? Um we're sorry early, all right, it just just lessons that this man has left. And that for us, we normally, you know, kind of cherish and want to give the flowers while they're alive. And unfortunately, we couldn't do that to his full capacity. But we're gonna do it today.

Mostafa Ghonim  
So I'm excited, man. I mean, I think we talked about Virgil several times throughout the podcast. But now that we get to dedicate a full episode to him, it's cool to learn about his story and what he's created. And yeah, no better way to do it in this way.

Nicky Saunders  
Let's get into this intro

Jaymie Jordan  
Two kids from Queens, cut from a different cloth. Now joining forces helping you to elevate your personal brand. Yeah I'm talking about Nicky and Moose! Bringing you a never before seen perspective into the mindset, the mentality, the behaviors, the driving force, but more importantly, the stories behind the people and brands that you know and love the most. 

Nicky Saunders  
And you already know what time it is. It is it is the review of the week. So this one says, "So much raw true for brands and marketing. Thank you for helping us learn through other brands. The whole learn from others mistakes is taken into consideration when it comes to this podcast. Except here. I've learned with you guys to learn from other mistakes, and also wins. So much marketing, branding and personal development. I love the breakdowns, and up to date news, wishing many other brands get the benefit from this, as well." So shout out to everybody who leaves a review clearly reread them. Definitely go to Apple podcasts and Podchasers to leave a review. We love you. We appreciate each one of y'all. And also shout out to all our audio listeners and people who are actually watching the scene that me and moose are here together. All that great stuff. That too! But Moose, how are we feeling? How are you?

Mostafa Ghonim  
Pretty good, pretty good. You know, these are always my favorite episodes. Anytime we get to link up and do one live. This is our third in 62 episodes. This is only a third episode that we've done live. So yeah, I'm always excited to do these is great conversation. Like, it's like we have like an official pre show we actually get to talk for like, several hours talking about a whole lot of different stuff. Yes. And then we get to, you know, put on an awesome podcast for the people. So I'm excited for it.

Nicky Saunders  
He's not gonna tell you what we talked about. 

Mostafa Ghonim  
No, no. 

Nicky Saunders  
He's not going to tell y'all, but it's all good. The fact that I know that I can come to New York. And we actually do now, let me tell you the last time we were here. The last time we were here 12 hours later. It was yeah, we established a podcast that wasn't in our 100% energy, right? Or anything like that. But now like the setup was pretty easy. 

Mostafa Ghonim  
This was smooth. 

Nicky Saunders  
We just did some research and I think the most that took up the time was us talking right? So that's not a bad thing. Not a bad thing. So, um, with that, let's get into this episode, which we are going to be talking about Virgil Abloh, like, the funny thing let's let's start with something funny. So I showed my mom shout out to my mom. I showed my mom Off-White. Right? She was like I heard a lot about this Virgil guy. Of course I learned it from your podcast and everything like that. But um, I I don't know how much his stuff is. Right. I don't I don't know what what are we looking at with that? So I showed her the the website and she was like $700 for a hoodie? What is happening? Yeah, and I'm like, Mom, that's the importance of branding. 

Mostafa Ghonim  
That's right. 

Nicky Saunders  
That is the true importance of branding of where you can truly sell a piece of clothing for a crazy amount, and people are gonna buy it because of a certain logo. Right. Right. And, and that is, that is why we wanted to cover Virgil, because there's so many little, like nuggets that he's left, like, and I hope everybody really looks into these interviews, because he has, I didn't know how many interviews he has. I hate. I hate that when when people pass. Now you're really realizing all the stuff that's out there. Right. Right. Right. It's so unfair. It's like, it's so great. But it's so unfortunate. 

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah, that's real. That's real. And you got to do a better job with that. I mean, again, and the funny thing is, this podcast was created for that reason, like we literally put this thing together and say, hey, you know what, it would be cool to honor people while they're still alive. So yeah, I think we're getting better. But we definitely could do more. You know, in appreciating what people have to say, while they're here.

Nicky Saunders  
Yeah. So with that, let's get into which one? Which one do you want to do first? Like I got, I got a few. We didn't really talk about the order shout out to us. Can I talk about the candle one first? Can I talk about the candle one? Yeah, let's show the people the candle one.

Virgil Abloh  
The way to sort of communicate an idea. There's a philosopher called Kierkegaard that talks about the most effective way for me to transmit an idea from my brain to your brain is not to tell you what to do, just to rearrange the furniture in your head so that you arrive at the same conclusion. So to a parent that's like, hey, I want you to be an engineer, and you're like, I want to be a fine painter. My logic is always like, absorb the information, and then re-deliver it in a way that makes them sort of understand, but also that you're still gonna go your own paths, like I'm designing this candle, right, or like the student, or the classroom is this, like, if I put this candle in an all white gallery space, it looks like a piece of art. If I put it on, like in a garage, it looks like a piece of trash. You know, like, someone would throw it, throw it away, it's dented. And I think I often use this analogy and design, I could either design the candle, and spend a lot of time like telling you about the candle, or I could just design the room that it sits in. 

Mostafa Ghonim  
Wow. Wow. The two things that stuck out to me with that, especially is number one, when he's talking about communication, it's you know, I stressed the importance of like, stop being selfish when you're communicating. Because whether you're talking to a loved one, an audience member, a customer or business partner, if you're talking to them the way you want to be talked to, you know that the chances of connecting are going to be a lot more difficult. But what he's telling you here is like, you know, take a moment to like, almost pull yourself back, and reshuffle it in a way that it can fit better in their mind, and they can arrive at the same conclusion, what you're doing is number one, you're making sure that you don't rob them of their own creativity, or you don't numb their intuition. And I've always said that, I think that's one of the worst things that we can run ourselves into is to rob somebody of their intuition, because then they just go numb, they don't know what's good, or what's bad, or what's cool and what's not, you know, like, they literally just don't know how to move, because they don't have a good feel for things. And then of course, the second piece of it. That's dope. I mean, you think you could take that so many different ways, right? Like the environment, right? It's like, yeah, the same exact thing can be looked at as art or trash just based off of where you place it. That's, that's heavy. That's heavy.

Nicky Saunders  
Yeah. And I got most excited about this one, just cuz it's like, it's the simple thought is like, when we look at like different products or services, we're so focused on selling that, right? And not necessarily making a fit within our world. Right? If we're if we're really looking at the different audiences that we're attracting, and we're trying to introduce something new to them, and the value and and make it seem as if this is going to be valuable to them. How does it fit in the world that they already in? Right? Like how does this particular new thing makes it seem as if it's something that they need in their world and not necessarily making it fit into their world they claim really see it? Yeah. And how he just took that candle. And for my audio listeners, just check out the the YouTube channel to see how dented this candle was, it was just it looked like trash. But he was right where it's like, you know, when you have it in an art gallery or an exhibit now you're perceiving it as something else. Yeah. And with our brand with our products with our services, are we putting it in the right environment? Before we even say, Hey, this is what this is. And it makes me think about a little bit differently because I'm like, with when it comes to Extreme Execution when it comes to Deeper Than the Brand or anything possibly with like, ET, like, instead of saying here, hear me he look look look look like, why don't we show the people where they are? And make it fit to where they look to the left and they're like, Yo, that's new. What is this? What's happened? That looks fire! That looks like something I need, that looks like... Yeah, so just seeing just hearing that I'm like, this man just made a bum candle seem important.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Seriously. Yeah. No, its just genius. I love that. And again, I think that's, that's the benefit of someone who trust his own intuition and like just his heart of what's cool and what's not, you know, because if you think about, like, a lot of the ideas that we end up don't acting out, or we end up not acting on it, because we probably are doubting, are they going to be perceived as cool and in the minds of other people? Right? And you're like, oh, maybe that's not pop. Okay. You know what? Yeah, no, I'm not gonna do it. And then there he is, like, No, I've actually designed my life in a way that I do what I think is cool. And people have began to respect and appreciate that, from the simplicity of just simple font and the word "air" on a sneaker that has been released for 20-30 years.

Nicky Saunders  
Yo. Can we talk about that? Yeah. Can we talk about that? Because, and shout out to Nick. Like, I told you, I love Virgil's slides from a person who like teaches and presents at times. Like, we look at slides as if, and for those who don't know, like keynote slides, right? Not like shoe slides. I don't want to confuse it. I don't want to confuse it. Right. I don't want to flip flops, chancletas. I don't want to confuse it. Right. But um, the way that we see slides right now is like, it has to have everything in it, the pictures and the like, it has to represent something deep and like, and the way that Virgil does it, and you're gonna see it in the the next. Next slide. No, no, same slide. Next, next clip, right, where it's just like, Yo, man, put simple font, simple words. And we just like, we think it's so deep. We think it's so deep. We think it's like, why are we over complicating things? Why are we feeling as if we have to do more than the most? When really, it's having a consistent look. It's having a consistent feel it's...

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah, I think it's just trying to make up for like a void or something that's missing is like, Oh, I don't think it's good enough. So I got to fill it to distract people from what I'm hoping they don't see. You feel me as opposed to just simply embracing your art, even if it's not art, like, I love, I was reading one of the articles and they said that he didn't call himself a designer, because he said that was just a way of him expressing some of his ideas. Right? So he wasn't a designer or creative director. In his mind. It wasn't that he was like, I just found my outlet. And I was expressing the things that I thought like to dislike whatever the case may be. So it's like, I think that's a big lesson for us to take away like, yeah, embrace the journey. Sure. But also stop trying to cover up for missing pieces or, you know, avoid filling the void. Just just let it be.

Nicky Saunders  
That's That's so good. That's That's so good. Let's get let's get into this next one because um, it is a it's a topic that comes up a lot and so the whole perfectionist. You know? I want things perfect. I want to do it this certain kind of way. I can't put it out. You know, I can't put this product this service this content, this brand out this business out because it's not all the way perfect, and he said a bar that will make you feel bad.

Virgil Abloh  
Once I realized that it's okay to not be a perfectionist, all of a sudden, I can do a million things at once and like go to sleep at night. And I think it's important I like look at other friends work who are like, super precise and perfectionist. And I realize I'm so I'm just trying to be a perfectionist, that I'm not even thinking anymore, the sort of design process is just going on to find some sort of like space that ultimately actually looks like something else I've seen.

Nicky Saunders  
Um, okay, so the fact that when I stopped being a perfectionist, I get to do all these other things, right? Like, yeah. So it just, it totally represents that we hold ourselves back. 100% we truly are the ones that are blocking our execution, and our and our ways of putting out stuff to the world because we feel it is. And I've said this multiple times, it's always a feeling right? Alright. We feel that this is not perfect. But I always go with the what is perfect. And we've never seen perfect. If supposedly, nothing is perfect. That is the cliche thing. Nothing is perfect. What are we keep saying that I needed to be perfect. What is and this is where I'm always big with the everybody has a different definition of every word in the dictionary to be honest with you. That's right. So when you think a perfect, you clearly may have a different definition than what I have. And what I have may be different than what the audience listens to or hears and, and perceives what perfection is. But if we don't really have a true definition of perfection, that each one of us can say, no one shout out to my listeners that are gonna say it's in the dictionary. And it says this, that the third. I get it. I understand. However, y'all don't even recite it that way. Right? Okay. Yeah, no, I know, I don't. I know, Moose doesn't and Moose is like beyond smart. Okay. He's really smart. But, um, but if we don't have a true definition of perfection, why do we allow that to hold us back from producing other stuff?

Mostafa Ghonim  
You know, it's crazy. And I think he said it towards the end of the clip where he said, when you aim for perfection, you just end up making things that are that look like everybody else's. You get? Like, had you not spent that much time trying to make it so perfect. It would be an original idea. But because you kept overthinking it, the only way to complete it is by looking Oh, what is Nicky's? Oh, Nicky got the theme with the Yeah, and the Twitter down the middle, okay,

Nicky Saunders  
Cuz you're basing you're basing perfection off of what other people are doing.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Exactly,exactly. So you and I've never thought about it that way. But I love that it's like yo, the more you try to make something perfect. You're forcing yourself to be a mere copy of somebody else. There's no way you can be an authentic, original, unique, you whatever you want to call it, if you're spending that much time trying to copy somebody else. So I think that that's that that might be it right there, it's not so much about perfection or lack thereof, because you might truly feel that what you're creating is incomplete. But it's not. It's not trying to complete it by peeking at somebody else and saying, Okay, what did what did they do? Right? Or how can I make it different than that? Because I think, I don't know, what are your thoughts about that? Because you definitely spend a lot more time creating, but when you try to even look at somebody else's thing to create a differently than them in a way that it's like, well, you just gained your inspiration, you know? So it's like, do you just not look at somebody? Do you you know, what, what's the what's the balance to that? That's a thing that we often talk about on the show. Like, it wasn't a balance, ultimately?

Nicky Saunders  
So I think it's cool to get inspiration, I don't think is cool to copy. Right? You know, I don't think is cool, too. When you looking at something, you're then saying, Okay, I need to grab these particular things from them and do it myself. That's copy. Right. But what what I was just thinking about was like, if, if we I'm really on the if we ask somebody something I don't want you to think just tell me what you thought. That's right. Right. Why because when you start analyzing some things, you start putting people's feelings into place, you don't want to hurt their feelings, you start putting all these different things in place, and then you actually manipulate what your true answer was going to be. Same thing, when it comes to whatever you're creating, like you should just create, and then put it out. Yeah. And not think twice about it. Because even we can go back to when we were doing test. Like, that's why I'm not big on relooking over some of the answers, because it's like you then you start doubting yourself. Is that really the right one? Like, where did I come up with that answer? Why did I do it this way? Every single time that we start thinking about something over our true thought and instinct, then it starts like, let me change that. Let me do this over. Let me look at what they're doing. Let me do this. And it's like, subconsciously, we do this almost all the time. Yeah.

Mostafa Ghonim  
And you don't want to I think, I think people's journey, or the way they start and get put on has a lot to do with that. Right? Like so when you when you think of like, Virgil's start. Yep. Right. He's working as just a designer, or, or he's helping a store out in Chicago. No, I.D. walks in, who's the producer of Kanye? Yeah. And he's looking for people to help them create a design. So he's, oh, who's doing this work for you? I actually think it's pretty cool. Oh, meet Virgil. Yeah. And that that ends up being the bridge that connects Virgil to Kanye, right? So 10-12 years running what Kanye you are working on these projects, and becoming the creative director, you're the head of Donda, which at the time was an agency. And and this is kind of just to give everyone almost like an overview of how he got in the industry, or how he connected with Kanye and all that stuff. And then all along, he kept doing what he was doing in the beginning, right, which is creating, doing things that he was passionate about that kind of thing. And it was just a perfect fit. For Kanye who was super into fashion. And we've talked about Kanye breaking the mold of what a rapper is not not being the backpack, rapper, whatever the case may be. So like, it was a perfect fit. But it almost trained him to just keep doing it that way. Like, you know, they're the first people that go to Paris per se, that although they were into fashion, you know, they go to Paris as minorities to sit next to lead designers and head designers and kind of find their way. So I'm sure we'll talk about a little bit more on the show. But I'm just saying, I think the way you start can often really set you on path for the right way to do something, or maybe the wrong way of doing it if you're not careful. And I think they've just always took that from the very beginning and said, Okay, we're going to go against the grain a little bit, we're gonna go to do things that people don't necessarily feel comfortable doing. But that's okay. So I think that idea of being an outsider became pretty normal to him. And that's why, as we've all seen through our social media, since his passing, everyone is talking about how much of an encourager he was, how much he tried putting them on, and, you know, things like that? 

Nicky Saunders  
Well, even when we were doing research for this episode, we were realizing in the past year of 2021, that he was always on Zoom, or whatever kind of meeting that was and on mentoring calls. Yeah, like, he was always like, trying to take whatever's in his head and make sure that gets out to the world, because, um, there's a whole channel of just mentoring calls.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Remember, we even watch your stuff. I think it was Complex or something else where he was mentoring other streetwear brand designers like he was like, helping them out with their stuff? Yeah. And this was not pandemic or because of the pandemic this would like this dates back to maybe three, four years ago, where he was doing this kind of thing.

Nicky Saunders  
Yeah. So if Yeah, if y'all haven't seen those interviews, go, go do that go. But this next one is going to be, of course, on on the branding side, right, and the branding side, um, how to define your brand. Now, that's going to be very important for people. And we actually wanted to bring it back a little bit to the basics with this one as far as, like, how long should it take for you to describe your brand? So let's just go into it.

Virgil Abloh  
You know, like, it's kind of both of those two are the critical steps like, Samuel talking about writing down the manifesto, you know, and it should be like, in my mind, it's like, 15 words, max.

Interviewer  
Yeah, it shouldn't be too heavy. 

Virgil Abloh  
You know, like, you have to be able to elevator pitch it and that's that briefness is about making sure it sticks. You know, I talk a lot, I can do run on sentences for a day. But I, I can also in 15 words, describe what my brand is about, and what my what my what my summarize, you know, if anyone, because the only reason why we're giving you these jewels is because someone in order for it to be, quote unquote, successful, which can be anything doesn't mean money, but in order for it to be successful is that someone outside of yourself can understand the litany of ideas in your head.

Nicky Saunders  
So So that's, that's the so crucial fact that, like how he defines success for brand. Yeah. Right. Because, once again, we all have our different definitions of success. But if what I have in my mind about what the brand is, and I'm putting everything out, and you don't get that that's a fail, that's an a complete L, right? Regardless of how much money I may have made, regardless of who may know, the brand, no one could really say, Yo, Nicky, does this. Moose does this, the Nicky and Moose podcast is about this, right? And it, we have to learn to be clear and concise in a very short way of what our brand is, and say that consistently. Because if we don't necessarily say that consistently, then we're leaving it up to the world to figure out what our brand is. So it's like, um, it's like that, that game, we played as kids, it's like you say something to one person. And they have to say to the other person and other person, and it all messes up? Yeah. Right? Because it's like, I forgot what it was. But I'm gonna say this, and I forgot what you said. But I'm gonna say this. Like, it should be very short, clear, concise, to the point that where it doesn't matter what age a person is, they know what the brand is. And that's hard for some people, for sure. But my question to you is, why do you think it's hard to describe something that you have created, and that you believe is going to be like the next best thing?

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah, I think ultimately, what I've discovered is it comes back to lack of clarity and lack of confidence, right? Because when you're not confident in what you're doing, or what you're building, or creating, you have no idea what you're trying to say, because you're unsure again, it goes back to that concept of like, is what I'm building really unique? Is it cool? Is it going to be liked and accepted. So when you're running those thoughts through your mind, you start to become unclear like, Wait, what was my original idea again, and then you start mixing and matching, forgetting what and why you started. So it goes back to yo, the more you can, and I hate to say it, but work on yourself, like master you, like build your confidence and get clarity, it even becomes easier to work with other creatives. I'm in the process of redoing my site now and like looking at different branding concepts and design concepts. And I'm noticing the difference than when I first started on this journey, because I actually know what I want. Like I know in my mind, what I would like to see how I want to be represented. Yeah. And granted, I have mature enough to understand that I can put the most beautiful site out there and people can still not receive it the way I intended. Yeah, but that's part of personal branding, that's part of art, that's part of any part of communication. You can say something with a very pure intention. But you can't necessarily control how others receive it. And so like I'm starting to learn that, but just to bring it back, I'm seeing that it's my confidence, that's breathing, my clarity. And now I can clearly see y'all I want my video to look like this, oh, I want my brand aesthetic to look like this. I like these types of colors. I don't like these types of colors. But when you don't have confidence, you don't have clarity. And God forbid you don't have those skill sets to create it. Then you're just like, I don't like it. Okay, and then the designer, whomever you're working with, so what don't you like about it? I don't know. I just don't like it. I don't know I just don't like it. So So I think it's it's it's a terrible loop that you find yourself in. And I can only imagine what that's like for you know, a creator. Maybe you can speak to it, like, you know, creators who don't have confidence or clarity and then they just create stuff that probably has no ending or has no start because you have the ability to do it, but you don't know where you're going. So it creates that cycle. So yeah, I think I think the reason why just to bring it back it's difficult because you lack clarity and you lack confidence and I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, but I love you.

Nicky Saunders  
Okay, all right. Um, well, you know, so from a creator standpoint, dealing with a brand that doesn't know what their vision is like what they want in life period. In life, it could be like something very simple like, Yo, I want to design I want a video, I want this or whatever, but you really don't know what it is. And I love it. Because it's like, I have this idea. But here do it. Right. And I trust you, right? You don't trust me. You just don't know how to describe. You don't you don't know how to describe it, you don't know. So then when, like, either myself or my team will create this this product, whether it's a video a graphic, then they like, now they're starting to see the vision, right? All the sudden, now they're good now. Okay. It's like an epiphany comes. I knew it all the time. Why didn't you do this? Right? Why did you do that? Why is, sir, ma'am, you gave me nothing. That's right. You, you gave me this audio and a picture. I made you a whole promo video, right? What do you want me to do? What is what? What are we talking about? So and this is why I'm really big with people to not give up their brand. As far as whether it is social media management, whether it's any really big deal that deals with the distribution of their brand, right off the bat, because you don't know what your brand is supposed to look like, you don't know what it's supposed to say how it's supposed to feel, what is the exact tone it's supposed to be. And so when you don't have that, and you just allow other people to do that for you, they have the most power, because they have a little bit more vision than you because of their experiences, right? And so they're just gonna go back to their experiences be like, Okay, your brand is somewhat similar to like what I did over here, so I'm just going to use their same tone and their vibe. And I'm going to use it to you because I already know that it has some type of, you know, results, right? And then you look at and you're like, Oh, that's not really how I want to be portrayed. That's not how I really what I want to do. Well, when did you tell me? Right? If you did, No, we wouldn't have this discussion. Yeah. And so if we can say anything, it's like that very first phase of your brand is what is it? How is it? How does it make me different? And how can I describe it, if I only have two, three seconds with a person, I can't sit here thinking I'm going to be able to pitch this the way I want to pitch it. Um, we have a certain coaches in Extreme Execution that's like, Okay, I really struggle with explaining it. Like, I'm always have to get on the phone, if I get on the phone and tell them what it is they get it. Right. But if they look at my social media, if they look at my website, there is a huge confusion,  disconnect. Yeah. And I don't know, like, I don't know how much longer I could be on the phone describing that, you know, and that's because you never spent the time to really understand what my brand is, and how quickly I can describe that, because it shouldn't take that long you should understand certain keywords, you should understand certain pain points, that will be like, who am I talking to? What is the pain point? Where are they going with this? What is the transformation based off my, you know, my, my, my experiences that I give other people like what is the the transformation that are going to get? That shouldn't take a whole paragraph.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Master class alert! Master Class alert! Yeah. You know, what, from the flip side of it, because because he mentioned this in the clip where he says, defining the mantra, yeah. And and I think it does go on, undervalued in a sense, or not as appreciated for people to create a mantra or a mission statement. Because in a way, especially when you compare it to small business or, or personal brands, we might start to feel like wait that's too corporate, like that's too much of a corporate element or concept to bring into my personal brand or small business. But it's super important. And the reason why I highly suggest it is because it helps you make the right decisions over time. So especially if you've gotten bigger, right? We said we're going to go back to the basics a little bit here. If you're someone who's grown or seeing progress or seeing movement and momentum and you want to make sure that you don't lose your day one. Yeah. Or you don't lose those customers who've been loyal to you for so long. And then you're saying like, Oh, people are saying, I changed. And you're wondering, like, Wait, did I change? Or did that I just outgrow my last audience or my original audience? Well, one of the ways to make sure that you're at least moving with a clear conscious is to create that mantra in the beginning, and use that as your almost as your, your value guiding system, right. And I've called it value based decisions. If I can make a decision based off of one of my values, I can always feel good about what I'm doing, because it justifies what I believe not what I feel. Yeah, right. I'm not saying feelings based decision, I'm saying value based decision. So so that I that concept where he threw in there saying, hey, that mantra, not only do you need to have a mantra, but make sure it's clear and concise for the pitching element. I think over time, it helps us tremendously, because now we can build a brand, we can expand the business, and still stay with those core belief systems or values that attracted people to us in the first place. Never feeling like we've changed up on them, or we tried taking to them or not given back to them, because we're staying true to our values. So you never have to, you know, wonder or have a tough decision, you could come up against a new idea or a new proposal, and then weigh it out like hmm, if I say yes to this, does it violate the mantra, or this mission statement that I've created for my brand? If the answer is yes, then your decision or the answer to that person is no, it becomes very clear. 

Nicky Saunders  
But also to the same point going back to the perfection part is we're explaining our brands in a long form, because we're overthinking it, right. Yeah, yeah, no. So we feel as if we have to say, all these different things, to make it very clear to the person when all honesty, we just need a couple of things. And that is it. Nothing else. But once again, stop overthinking. Whole bars, I hope somebody wrote that down, shout out to the people who transcribes our stuff. But, um, man, there's this, just this other clip that I really liked, because we talk about collaborations a lot. And we kind of define it in different ways, whether you know, you want to collaborate with people, like who are your peers, people higher than you. So you can get to the next level. People who, like are a little bit underneath that are starting, because you want to grow a platform for them. But the way that Virgil collaborates, how he explained in this next clip is very different. And I was like, Yo, do we need to like it made me think like, do we need to do this, like, so. So here's what I mean,

Virgil Abloh  
different local things that were just prior to their time. So for me, my idea of collaboration, pretty much every collection is me getting on the internet cold calling people that were from that previous era to like, come back. And like, hey, let's use Off-White as an education device to sort of bridge a gap. And that's, you know, my, my, that's always been how I thought that, you know, it can take it off this figurative fashion thing and actually support a community.

Nicky Saunders  
Moose, what do you think about this?

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah, no, I love that idea of like, you know, in our Extreme Execution community, I, I always talk about each one teach one Yep. And and that's, that's a last like a village mindset that stretches back centuries, decades about as you progress, make sure that you go back and take the next person, or help the next person so that we can all arrive I think the the part that we often forget when we're first starting on our journeys, yes, we understand that there's a competition, like ultimately, it's you against somebody else and you want to win, you want to be the like the undisputed champion in a sense, but you also got to remember that anything done alone kind of loses meaning. You know, like, like, okay, cool, you became the number one brand, but you're by yourself. Yes. You know, like you you didn't you didn't you didn't teach anyone else you didn't help put anybody else on you didn't create opportunities for anybody else like it. It's a it's a, it almost brings down your experience. The other part of it that I love, especially given his life trajectory, and unfortunately him passing at such a young age. There's a there's a quote that says that you're not successful unless you have have a successor. Mm hmm. You feel? Yeah. It's like you're not successful unless you have somebody in place who can carry what you've created and keep it going. Right. That's why one of my favorite people is Myles Munroe. Why Myles Munroe still till this day my man passed in a in a in a airplane accident. Till this day you go on his YouTube channel, his YouTube channel is still functioning, his messages are still being released. They still follow a consistent schedule. And I'm like, yo, my man passed almost a decade ago, man, how was his stuff still circulating? Right. And in the core of his messages when he talked about your what define success. And he always talked about you're not successful unless there's a successor in your place. So I'm going back to Virgil I'm saying credit to him for having that mentality to begin with. Because when you are moving with that type of approach of wanting to create a community to bridge gaps and take people from one place to another, when you pass on early, you know how many people are probably knocking on his wife's door and saying, Hey, I got you, his children, hey, we'll take care of them. Like it's a no brainer, because he's done. He's done for them. Yeah, right. While he was here, that he wasn't putting it off till later. He was like, No, I'm gonna do it now. Yeah, so So yeah, it's, it's, it's crazy when we think about that. And of course, we're all tempted to believe now while I'm young, I got time. Passed away at 41.

Nicky Saunders  
That's crazy. That's crazy. And it's so interesting to hear your perspective on it, because I had something totally different. Totally different, because I'm looking at what he said, where he was like, Yo, okay, I'm going back to the locals. And I'm bringing him back and collaborating with them. So because maybe they didn't necessarily get the shine that they did, because, um, I understand that. And maybe because of my line of work, that just because you are not known known, like maybe other brands doesn't mean you're less valued, or you're not way better than them. Right? So if he goes back, and be like, Okay, you made a little buzz, right. But maybe something happened, right, maybe your marketing wasn't the greatest, maybe your team fell apart, whatever it is, but you had something that needed to be out to the world, let me call you up. And let me see if we could work together. Because I didn't learn this. I did, he's looking at things to fill in the gaps that he doesn't necessarily have. Right. And he's going back to these other brands that were in the past, because he's, he does the typical, you know, let me collaborate with the the Nikes of the world, let me collaborate with the Supreme 's of the world. But clearly, Louis, you know, things like that. Let me do all these different things. But let me go back and bring light to the people who should have gotten the shine, who should have done this, and as well as it, it makes my brand bigger, because I don't have these particular details. I don't have these particular you know, manufacturers, I don't have these particular marketing tactics. And so now I do by collaborating and I'm, I always know that collaboration should take you to a new level, not only from the person that you're dealing with, but just from the skills that you lack. And without necessarily dishing out too much money, or taking up too much energy by you saying yo I lacked this I need to work this with you is a whole different ballgame. Because other people will be like, Yo, and in the interview, um, I think in the last one with a guy that he was working on, I think his name was Samuel. Okay, I'm bad. But Samuel, go check out the interview. Right, is another designer, he was a Virgil was like, Yo, ah, I, when I was coming up, you know, I'm looking at at different designers and everything like that, and it sucked to do it by myself. So I reached out to him because I felt like we were, we're doing something that could work well together, and help educate other black designers and get them to a whole new level, you know? So it made sense to collaborate with him and work with him. And he learned very early the importance of collaboration and the importance of working under different companies as well because we talked about it where he interned with Fendi right All right. And it's always about when you whether it's an...I still look at interns and jobs as collaborations. I don't think there are anything different. Because when he was at Fendi, he was this is when him and Kanye, were doing the whole Fendi thing as an intern, and he got the attention of Michael Burke, who was at Fendi at the time, but who then went on to be the head of Louis Vuitton. Right? So by you collaborating with your internship, at Fendi and did your thing, and learn what you needed to learn, you got the the likes of Michael Burke, who then when there needed to be somebody to take the role of what is our artistic, or creative director of Louis Vuitton, who's the first thing he's going to think about? Yo, that kid that dude, that was killing it as an intern with his designs, and his his visionary, I need you over here. You know, that all in all, when it comes to collaboration is all about relationships. Yeah, it's all about relationships. And if we could really, like, factor that in into our brands and our businesses, it will take us one step closer. Now, my question to you and this is going to be very, I don't know if we want to leave this after show or whatever. Okay. All right. So I'll let you you call this right?

Mostafa Ghonim  
I like where this is going! Let me get situated.

Nicky Saunders  
So how long should a collaboration be? 

Mostafa Ghonim  
Oh, my goodness. 

Nicky Saunders  
 And I know that subjective like I know, it varies and things like that. But I think my question to you is, what are some clear signs of when a collaboration has met its peak? Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Wow.

Mostafa Ghonim  
But I think I think I think it's when it becomes draining. Mm hmm. Right. Like when you for us to coexist, I have to lose a part of myself. Or I have to carry such a heavy burden that I feel like I'm dying inside. That's an inside we were talking about earlier.

Nicky Saunders  
Don't be in a collaboration where you feel like you're dying inside. Your insides are gone.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah you need your your

Nicky Saunders  
You need your organs!

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah, absolutely.

Nicky Saunders  
Lungs are important people. 

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah, you gotta breathe, you know, you need air. So yeah, absolutely. Now, but for real, though, in all seriousness, I know that sounds like a joke. But I'm serious. Like if I have to, for us to coexist, I gotta lose a part of myself for it to happen. Or it's become such a burden. Some like, it's so heavy, it's draining, I gotta, I gotta push and pump myself up just to make it happen, then, man, it's probably better that we act like grown adults and say, You know what? I'm not I'm not here to cut ties or burn bridges. But I think our time on this journey has expired or on this mission has expired, and maybe sometime down the line, we'll be able to reconnect and re collaborate, but just right now, it's unhealthy for me to do it. Have to cut some people off, let me ask this question. Because because I want to go back to, you know, like people, almost like letting talk so much time slip by where their time is expiring, and they haven't put somebody in place to take, you know, to pass the baton to to take them to the next level. When do you think it's time for somebody to start teaching the next person after them or, or be in a position of like, you know, what, like, what are some signs that someone should receive to know that it's time for me to start putting people on or start helping others or start you know, bringing people to this level of exposure, whatever it is, when should some what are some things that somebody should see to be like, oh, yeah, now I got to start doing that.

Nicky Saunders  
If you believe that it's going to work, you should start. Oh, I don't believe that. It's just start when you see some success. I believe in duplicating yourself, for any situation. It's not just in order for you to continue to do other things or, you know, due to old age and may pass and whatever clearly with with Virgil because of a, you know, an illness, I don't believe we have to wait to those particular things. I think we have to look at it. Like, if I'm creating something, I need to shout out to Connie. Right, I need to put systems in order, right up, right. And so that anybody can come in and do these particular jobs, do these particular tests take over this particular role. And if we're not already doing that, we're already behind the curve. We're already like, we're putting so much pressure onto us. And I know I am. I am like, I do this myself. Like, there are certain things that I don't necessarily have, like, I will always be that one that goes on vacation and still needs like, at least an hour to, to do some work. Right? I'm still in that position. And not because I want to like not because like, Oh, I'd love to, which, which I I'm a huge workaholic. That is that is a given. However, there are certain tasks that I wish I didn't have to do. Yeah. Right. And I blame on me, because I have not taught somebody and I have not documented it. And it really just starts with the documentation not necessary, because people are going, I don't have that person. I get it. But do you have it in place where a person can look at a SOP, straight up? And they don't even necessarily need you? Yeah, you know, um, and that for me, because I was yo, how do you? How do you put me in this position without the Protect with the right personnel? How are you going to give me this task, and I'm now more on, I'd have to blame myself, before I blame you. I have to learn why I'm still doing this particular task on me. And not even because it may be your company, it may be, you know, your idea, or whatever it is, I don't care if you have any kind of part into it. I have control of what is in my mind and what comes out of my mind, and how much information I'm allowing other people to learn from me. I think that's why it is huge for like, our platform, and for my own platform to just dish out information. The second that I know it, or the second that I experienced it. Because in even with with this episode in itself, we're learning these these lessons now. Right, right, right. This is not something that we dwelled on, like, he'll remember this particular one that we saw from three years ago, with Virgil that we should bring to this podcast. No. The second that we absorb something we have to teach other people. And that has to deal with your task as well. It just doesn't have to deal with just knowledge it has to deal with I cannot be doing this when I'm 50. I cannot be doing this when I'm 60. Why am I even thinking about work at 70? Like, but in order to get to that part, not because of death not because all these things in order to get to that just enable to free yourself up for a new idea, you have to you have to dish out that information. Start looking for people who can you could teach start documenting the process and really setting yourself up to where you can walk away and know that it's running right.

Mostafa Ghonim  
That's good. That's good.

Nicky Saunders  
Hey, hey. But I got I got one thing I got one thing. So how do I want to put this? We brought it up in the car as far as the Kanye West and the Virgil. Yeah, right. And you know, if anybody doesn't know, I'm not trying to bring up like drama or nothing like that, or he say she say, but the situation is that Virgil and Kanye pretty much went on this Louie Vuitton journey together, right, right. And they clearly one won, and the other one didn't didn't get the position, you know? And it is said, quote unquote, that Kanye felt as if that should have been his, his position right? Now my stance on it is, well, the one who masters fashion the one who masters creative director is always going to win overall, then maybe the person the influencer, maybe overall then the person who may want to do it the most, you know, as like, this is pretty cool, right? Because Kanye clearly is, you know, a musician. He's clearly a producer. He's clearly, you know, a fashion designer and so many other things, entrepreneur, all the great things that he does. But Virgil is a designer, like Virgil is a creative director, Virgil creates brands all within the means of art and fashion. Right, that he did he dabble into music, he was a DJ. Right? Okay. Um, and in his still in his his own artistic way. He was He created different music covers. We his creative directive, right now. I say that the position is always going to get one by the person who, who is in that craft? Not part time in the craft in that craft, right? Um, what do you think about kind of that whole situation? As far as, like, for the person that may have more money may have more influence? Possibly, with a little bit more studies can do the position? Right. Right. Would that like, Do you believe people who are like a Kanye, more of a I want it, then necessarily a Virgil of this is me, should they be given those types of roles over the person who's saying this is my craft? Right? 

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah, no, I mean, I think, of course, it's, it's a lot easier to say. My vote would be toward the person who has mastered the craft as always worthy of the position. Right. But I also think even in just like watching, and studying Virgil, and we've talked about, you know, his deal with the 60/40, split, you know, some time back, I think, overall, the big lesson that I took away is, you don't want to entirely speak on someone's position, because you never know what they're going through. Alright, so I don't I don't want to necessarily, like say, oh, Virgil was right, Virgil was wrong, or Kanye was right, Kanye was wrong. But I think the bigger lesson to extract here and here are my honest views about this, when you are in some form of partnership, or collaboration, if if your passion is in being fueled within the mission, and you have to hide in someone's shadow, then I can understand why a decision like that needs to be made and you have to put your your best interest forward, which in this case, Virgil did right like granted and everyone is gonna make the argument and say, but how how dare he like, if it wasn't for Kanye, he would have never got this exposure, he would have never met this people or kindly took him to Paris to begin with or any of this. It's like, Yo, but the guy was an architect by trade, he got a master's degree in architect like, that's what he did. You can't blame him for making that move. But again, because we're not in this situation, and we're not close enough to know it. Ultimately, you know, I think we both learned like, okay, let's not necessarily comment on someone's situation, but I know from real life experience, that if you're, if you're working on a project or a mission that has your skill set buried in the shadow of somebody else, and it's not getting no, you know, no light of day, then I don't blame he or she who get another opportunity to finally just spread their wings and say, You know what, thanks for bringing me this far. I have to jump ship.

Nicky Saunders  
And when you want to create something of your own, right, there is going to be a certain divide. Yeah. Um, and it shouldn't be no ill feeling towards the other human being not saying that there is or wasn't or whatever it is like, they're two individuals were two different perspectives and two different lifestyles. And two, maybe a similarity for the love of fashion, but the there may be one that out beats that passion, or just sees it in a different route, you know, it is, it is always going to be that one that is going to go one way, and the other one's going to go the other way. And there's nothing wrong with that. Absolutely. And we look at it, like Kanye may have felt a certain kind of way. But he is a billionaire. I don't know if Virgil was a billionaire. But he was getting there with all the moves that he was making. Right. But for, for anybody to feel somewhat any kind of animosity, or anything, because, oh, I didn't get it at this time. Everything has to do with timing. Everything has to do with like, this is the right person for position, but what are you going to do next? And I think, you know, seeing the journey of Virgil from, like, from just DJing, to creative director to the whole Off-White to the seat at the table of LVMH. Like, it's just really, really inspiring to see, when you focus on just the freedom of creating that, what can happen from that. What doors can be open? What, what tables, can I finally join? Um, and shout out and we'll probably talk about this on the after show, but shout out to Kat right. Where the the episode 43 When we talked about him giving up majority of steak to Off-White to LVMH. You know, the the question of why was a great was, you know what it is? She brought up this whole thing well, I know, you guys went back and forth. But could this have been the master plan since he knew he was battling cancer, which I didn't think were like, our entities, and I even say how those man died? That's horrible. For those who don't know, he died at the age of 41, battling privately with cancer, which is a whole nother conversation of like, we definitely don't know what people are going through. Yeah. But the fact that, you know, we're seeing more and more people, so majority of their stake into things. And this one hits a little bit because it's like, man, he did this for he had to do that for a reason. Right? He had to like, because that was his baby. But in business, you are supposed to make something so you could sell it.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Absolutely. Absolutely. I was about to say that. Like, when you look at it from a business standpoint, that's entirely normal in the business world, because in some cases, you're actually looked at as a success when you're finally acquired, hmm. Because it's like, oh, you built this from scratch and you got the attention of big bigger companies or big dogs just come and just say, give you a big check and buy you out and let you know, you've done a good job. You know, so it's like when WhatsApp got acquired by Facebook and Instagram are now Meta. It's like that same idea, right? You know, two employees who, at one point work their left built out their own app, and then got a billion or 2 billion. It's like, that's a that's a sign of success. So yeah, I think going back on it now you obviously see it through a different lens. But yeah, you're absolutely right. Knowing that does, you know, and again, we can't say for sure, because we don't know but it's like being in his shoes. You can only imagine what that meant. Right? It's like yeah, that's that that totally changes the game.

Nicky Saunders  
Yeah. Rest in peace, Virgil, true icon. As long as we can. Just like how I do with Nipsey. As more as we learned, we will definitely let you guys know, um, just because we we are big, not only giving flowers to those who are alive, but making sure to legacy of those who have passed still can be lessons taught to us and to y'all. So rest in peace, Virgil. With that, please follow us everywhere on all social media platforms. Nicky and Moose, okay, @NickyandMoose Facebook, Instagram. If you're listening, go on YouTube, you know, shout out to our YouTube viewers. But with that, Moose, final words.

Mostafa Ghonim  
Yeah, yeah, no, I'm gonna share. It's only right that I share a quote from the man himself who we're honoring and doing this whole episode after But Virgil Abloh. So he said, "When it comes to self expression, especially in a creative atmosphere, those things that hold you back from executing your dreams are myths. It's all in your head. There's actually no consequence. Anything is achievable. And those genres are just made to be jumped over."