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- T.I. - featured 3
T.I. isn’t happy with the way luxury brands are treating their urban customers. The Atlanta bred rapper whom recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of his clothing line AKOO shared with HYPEBEAST why it is important for these brands to recognize some of their primary consumers.
“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,” said T.I.
The rapper says big name brands will continue to abuse specific customers until they make a conscious effort to show their viability to these companies.
“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.”
Despite feeling this way about luxury brands, the “King of the South” does appreciate what one has done accept the culture that has embraced its fashion.
“I’ve recognized and appreciate the reapplication of the Versace brand to the market. Because so many times couture brands, they reach a point where they were quietly getting money for a long time, then when they see that the urban community or entertainment community has embraced them they would rather see their numbers fall than support the idea of our culture being the cornerstone of their business. So I could really appreciate the fact that they (Versace) were open-minded enough and respect the culture of our lifestyle enough to reposition themselves and re-market themselves in a way I think yielded a great margin of profits for them.” -Chris M. Garner