News: T.I. Ready To Button Up His AKOO Swag, "We Represent Being Fly"

Tuesday, Oct 11, 2011 3:15PM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Fresh off of serving nearly a year behind bars for a probation violation, T.I. has opened up about resuming duties with his AKOO Clothing brand.

Acknowledging that the company continued to flourish despite his physical absence, Tip said he is ready to map out the brand's future.

"We are definitely at a place in business where we're proud of our accomplishments and looking forward to what we have to accomplish in the days to come," T.I. said in an interview. "We represent artistry, we represent culture, we represent fashion, we represent being fly and just doing you to the best of your ability and getting paid for it -- We're actually doin' a little better in my absence." (MTV)

Prior to the "King of the South"'s release last month, AKOO Clothing marketing director Jeff Belizaire hit up SOHH to discuss the brand thriving throughout 2011.

"We're looking forward to his coming back and coming home, spending time withe his family, friends and relatives," Belizaire told SOHH referring to Tip. "And of course, we're looking forward to him getting back involved to the swing of things with the brand. Even while T.I. was away, he still remained a pretty intricate part of the design, of the creative inspiration. He never really lost a beat. In fact, he'll come out even more focused." (SOHH)

Despite T.I. being jailed for 11 months, the company's sales reportedly increased in his absence.

Prison doesn't totally suck ... at least for T.I. ... because TMZ has learned, sales for the rapper's clothing line skyrocketed while he was in the pokey. A rep for AKOO clothing tells TMZ, the company's sales soared by 25% in the last year ... while the rapper served time for drug possession. The company rep said they hadn't seen such a surge in popularity since T.I.'s MTV reality show "Road to Redemption" premiered in 2009. The rep says they're preparing for another spike in sales -- when T.I. is set free next week after completing his drug sentence. (TMZ)

Last year, the "King" detailed his emphasis on AKOO crafting military-inspired clothing designs.

"I definitely think that military-inspired gear is fresh just as long as it's not overdone," he said in an interview. "Akoo's gear stays pretty subtle and pays attention to detail. Our brand's inspirations draw from the outdoors to nautical to aeronautics, which are all components of military. Our tag lines reflect this sort of culture with slogans including 'Always Hunted' or 'Trust Nothing With Teeth.' ... I've tried to be part of every detail as much as I possibly can along the way, from fabrication through to certain elements of design. I pay attention to the materials that make the clothing right down to the conditions of the places for the employees who manufacture it...I've always had a vision for my own line, but I wanted to do it right, and really be able to inject my creativity and persona into it, and right now it feels right." (The FADER)

Check out a recent post-jail T.I. interview below:

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