Grand Hustle head T.I. recently spoke on his growing Akoo clothing line and why higher end fashion brands should be wary about how they treat customers.
In Tip "s perspective, luxury lines should acknowledge how much money goes into their pockets courtesy of urban consumers.
"I think they will do it as long as we allow them to. As long as we continue to promote their sh*t. As long as we continue to buy their shit. The power of the urban market is in the dollar. Black people spend like nobody "s business. We are the most spending race I think there is. You can have a black man that makes $14,000 or $15,000 dollars a year, and you can have an Asian, or a Latin, a Mexican, or a Caucasian who makes $14,000 a year. That black man is going to spend way more money on Gucci or Louis or Jordans or AKOO. He is going to spend way more money on those luxury or fashionable items than any of these other races combined. You see what I "m saying?" (Hypebeast)
The "King of the South" also admitted the big brands will continue to mistreat select shoppers until a big change is made.
"Where they look away and disrespect our contributions to their bottom line, the only way we will receive that respect is if we enforce our power, here in the dollar. "Alright cool, so if you don "t want to rock with us, guess what we going to do, we "ll stop buying. " That means from $14,000 a year to $450,000 a year, we "re not buying. But until we do that they will continue to manipulate us and they will continue to take us for granted." (Hypebeast)
A few years ago, Tip said although Akoo was influenced by his own personal style he allowed 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)
Prior to T.I. returning from a jail bid, Akoo Clothing marketing director Jeff Belizaire hit up SOHH to discuss the brand thriving.
"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)