AKOO

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T.I., in a Crown Polo Shirt, while roaming the streets of Hollywood.
T.I., in a Crown Polo Shirt, while roaming the streets of Hollywood.

AKOO, a menswear line, was created by the “King of the South” rapper T.I. He launched the line in August 2008 at the MAGIC fashion convention in Las Vegas, where he was chased and tracked down by fans as soon as he entered the building. The name of the brand was derived from the statement “A King of Oneself”, which is also the name of his Extended Play album he has released in 2008.

This message proved to be a powerful statement for the rest of the hip-hop community. As mentioned in one of T.I.’s songs: “a King does not push his people poison”, AKOO relays the same positive mentality and creative know-how when it comes to designing these high-quality clothes.

He once described AKOO as “upscale, classy American apparel” that can bring together men from all walks of life. The brand’s clothing is made of elegant fabrics and is doted with street wear sensibility. Currently the company sells jeans with custom embroidery, sleek leather jackets, stylish shirts, button-downs, sweaters, polos, and sweatshirts. Pieces sell from $45 to $1000.

AKOO’s design team is lead by Ralph Reynolds, who says that “the AKOO man is an individual who regards fashion as a compliment to his strong personality.” True enough, its clothes can put that “flair” in your fashion sense.

The clothing line has also been featured in magazines such as Complex, Rap Up, Giant, XXL, Vibe, and Billboard. AKOO apparel is available at Men’s Closet, Sports Plus, and Walter’s.

T.I. in an AKOO Brown Salute Shirt.
T.I. in an AKOO Brown Salute Shirt.

New life

After being arrested in 2007 for illegal purchase of three machine guns and two silencers for $12,000, T.I. was charged with federal weapons charges that resulted to 1,000 hours of community service and incarceration starting April 19. Despite this event, T.I. remains positive because of the success of AKOO and his recent album, Paper Trail. To chronicle his bumpy journey, T.I. signed up with MTV to come up with the show “T.I.’s Road to Redemption”.

As he approaches his incarceration, T.I. made took a complete turnaround with the collaboration of the K.I.N.G. Foundation and the C.H.A.N.G.E. Initiative, which help to remove guns from urban communities.

Just like the music artist’s successful career, fans can expect more from his music and clothing line when he is finally released from jail. In an MTV interview T.I. said: “Presumably, while I’m there, I’ll be able to strategize my comeback. I won’t be sitting still doing nothing”.

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