Grammy-winning rapper T.I. recently opened up about what he admires in fashion icons and said rap moguls Jay-Z and Diddy have demonstrated the proper swagger.
The Akoo clothing owner cites the duo’s classy style as a key characteristic he looks up to.
“Puff and Jay. Puff has an all-around style, upscale, urban, and classic. I can say that for both. They just have a different way of doing it. I am very selective with my clothes. This is a time where fashion and style go against what I would rather do myself. So I have to pick and choose from people that share my enthusiasm when it comes to certain things. I’m not going to do red jeans. No green jeans. I don’t do Vans and that’s the style right now. I don’t want to show my socks when I’m wearing jeans. So, when you ask me who I look up to and who I can admire for their style right now, I have to choose from people that represent what I represent stylistically.” (Complex)
Recently, New York rapper Fabolous said he was also inspired by Jay-Z for his ability to create successful brands.
“I look at hip-hop artists who have become brands,” he said, “[like] Snoop Dogg or Jay-Z. It’s not only their music, it’s the whole package of what they’re doing as artists. So I want to brand myself as an artist. I would like to bring in other talent and move up to do some acting. You can’t be satisfied. Because once you’re satisfied you lose your edge of competing. So I’m not satisfied. I say, ‘You know what? I still deserve more.’ If I was sitting on top of the world, I deserve to be sitting on top of the sun, you know what I’m saying?” (Boston Herald)
Last May, the rapper updated fans on the status of his Akoo line moving forward through 2010.
“The direction of the clothing line, in my eyes, is upscale urban apparel,” Tip said in an interview. “I just wanna continue to diversify. Continue to grow. Continue to speak to the cool kids of America. That’s my idealistic outcome. It’s all gonna be comfortable. Everything is gonna be comfortable, casual. To me, we got V-neck tees, crew-neck tees, wovens. Denim is a big part of the lines. We actually pride ourselves on the quality of our denim, especially at the price point we at. We got fleece. We got a lot of imagery, distinctive imagery on our pieces, that sets us apart from everything else going on out there.” (MTV)
In April, he talked about applying a military-style look to his line.
“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 theclothing 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 some footage of T.I.’s Akoo clothing down below: