News: T.I. Keeps His Akoo Swag Turned On, "I'm So Laid Back, Classic & Just Old School W/ My Sh*t"
Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011 1:15PM
Grammy-winning rapper T.I. recently opened up about his Akoo Clothing brand and how much of an executive role he plays in the line's latest designs.
Tip said that although Akoo is influenced by his own personal style, he allows his team creative freedom.
"I'm so laid back and classic and just old school with my sh*t, but sometimes I just say, 'ya'll just go crazy'. Go crazy and do what ya'll feel like the kids gonna want to see. Of that, as we're doing now, I'll take the sh*t that I feel like might need to come back just a little bit. Just give 'em a little bit of that, but still incorporate, still make it wearable. ... I know I gotta represent for the guy who got a swag that may not be exactly like mine, but I don't want to alienate him. I still want him to be able to come in and find something from the collection that he f*cks with. ... I rock that sh*t regularly, just because I wear it for real all the time. I just took it off; I just had the troublemaker sweater with the skully with the ball on the top." (Global Grind)
In October, the "King of the South" said he resumed his duties following an 11-month jail bid.
"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 T.I.'s September jail release, 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)
Check out a recent T.I. interview down below: