Wednesday, August 19, 2009
AKSTAR MAGAZINE - INTERNATIONAL AK ARTICLE
The video below is self explanatory as to why this article was created. Have a look.
Here's the interview. It's a great read. Not because I interviewed myself, but because everyone can get a little taste of why I do what I do and why I want to be the hardest working man in fashion and art. ENJOY.
*** The small text on the cover page of the article reads "The man behind Akstar Lifestyle prepares for universe domination. It's his universe and you guys (and girls) are just living in it."
Story by Akeem King
Photography by LaVell W.
Styling by Akeem King
AKEEM KING, the man behind the growing brand, Akstar Lifestyle takes timeout of his busy schedule and universe domination to speak to... himself. Crazy isn't it?
Do you use the fear of failing as fuel for your creativity?
Ummm... I'm not really afraid of failing. Failing isn't the end of the world. When you fail you just go back to the drawing board and come back stronger. What I do fear is being average. That shit scares me, so that what keeps me going.
You're quoted in a lot of places saying "I want to be the greatest that ever lived." Please explain.
When you do anything you're supposed to want to be the absolute best at it. I was taught that from an early age. If you don't want to be the best at your craft you shouldn't be doing it. If you work in Burger King, you should want to be the best fucking burger maker that the Burger King franchise have ever seen. In my case I want to be the greatest artist, designer, and person that has ever lived. I know it's an extremely hard task, but I'm so up for it! I want to end up in fashion, art, and economics textbooks. I want to have a class named after me in fashion and art schools, Akstar 101.
Who is your stiffest competition?
Honestly... Myself. That's my only competition at the moment. I'm the only person that can stop me. And that's not happening (laughs).
I'm just a complexed man with a simple plan. I'm a perfectionist. I'm constantly fighting with myself and asking myself am I working hard enough. At times I don't want to sleep, I just want to stay up forever and just work.
What fuels your fire?
My father, my mother, my step mother, my sister, my "square" of friends, life, and this amazing girl that I have the priviledge of knowing (laughs)
Can you see yourself doing anything else?
Not at all. If I weren't doing what I do I would be a bum. This is the only thing I want to do in life. I'm obsessed and addicted with fashion and art. All my time is spent making clothes and art or thinking about making clothes and art. I'm in love with it! It gives me feelings that no one in life has given me EVER! I get butterflies, goosebumps, chills, and this amazing enjoyment when I'm doing what I love or when I create something. If clothes and art were people I'd be God (laughs). I might even love fashion and art more than life itself.
All right. Switching gears from professional to personal. You speak of your parents a lot. How do they influence you?
Well... if you look in the dictionary under "hard work" you'll see a picture of both of them. They always instilled amazing work ethic in me. They always told - tell me that I can be the best at whatever I want to do as long as I work my "little brown ass" off. My mother sacrificed so much for me. She stopped working for 10 years to take care of me. That's a major sacrifice. She was such a fighter, she had a brain aneurysm when I was 11 years old and had to have a ton of brain operations, she was in a coma, and was on life support for a bit. She always told me that she wanted to see my younger sister and I reach age 18 so we can take care of ourselves. She didn't make it to see my sister and I reach 18, but we were able to look after ourselves. She was supposed to be dead when she got sick on that Father's Day in 2000, but she fought and fought until 2005 because she didn't want to leave this planet without her babies being able to take care of themselves or being taken care of. That's one of my influences. She defied the odds. So why can't I?
My father on the other hand is the epitome of the man that I want to grow into. He also sacrifices a lot for me. Shit! He's still taking care of my ass (laughs). He consistantly tells me how great I'm going to be and that gives me chills. Wanting to take care of him and providing him with the life that he wants inspires the fuck out of me. Eversince he arrived to the states from Trinidad & Tobago in the early 80's he's been working his ass off. It's time for him to stop. I love him too much to see him work so hard. That's why I go so hard.
I'm inspired by my step mother also because she made one of the biggest scarifices that someone can make. She left her beautiful life in Trinidad & Tobago to come to the states and help my father take care of my sister and I. If someone can sacrifice their family for someone I'm willing to sacrifice anything for Akstar Lifestyle.
In the past few months you have been mentioning a "Super Boo" quite a lot, who is she and what's that about?
She's this awesome, scintillating, supernatural being that fell in my lap. There's not enough positive adjectives in the english language to describe her. It's very rare in life that someone makes you feel so happy and willing to share everything with. She's the only woman that knows me for "Akeem King" and not "International Ak" or "Akstar". We have this un-explainable bond. The funny thing is that she's not even my girlfriend yet (sings the chorus to Ryan Leslie's "You're Not My Girl"). But I trust her a whole lot and when that time comes she'll be Mrs. Akstar (pulls his shades off and winks)
What makes someone qualified to be Mrs. Akstar?
Someone that motivates me to be a greater person than I already am. Someone who motivates me to be the best at everything. Someone who's passionate about me, my craft, and her craft (which is similar to mine). Someone I can be comfortable and be myself around. Someone I can share my life with (laughs and blushes).
So, you're from Manhattan's Lower Eastside, how has that influenced you?
Living in the LES has exposed me to all walks of life. I live two steps away from the "hood" and gangsters. Shit someone just got murdered over here a few nights ago! I'm also two steps away from the rockers, hipsters, and downtowners. It's so diverse and allows me to exhibit my open minded-ness and still have that New York edge. I love it!
What cities do you love other than your own?
London! It's such an amazing city and I fit right in. I such a good market for me out there as well. I love LA eventhough I've never been there. It's on my list for early 2010. I think Toronto is a cool city, I'll be there in about 10 days. Milan, Tokyo, Paris, Barcelona, and Munich are all on my to do list as well.
Who inspires your style?
My father back in his days and my emotions.
My outfits depend on how I'm feeling, but right now since it's a million degrees outside - Akstar "Nude Chick" t-shirt, light grey BDG chino hot pants (short shorts for all my Americans), black croc vans, and my vintage Prada shades.
What can't you live without?
Fashion and art
Who would you like to collaborate with?
I would love to collaborate with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and his own brand. Also Kaws, Tom Ford, Robert Geller, Complex Magazine, i-D Magazine, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Lady Gaga, Keri Hilson, Ryan Leslie, Steve Jobs, Nike, Vans, Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfield and the lists goes on (laughs).
How bad do you want to be number one?
I don't even want to be number one. I want to be number zero because that comes before number one (winks and laughs).
How big do you want to be?
God bless his soul, but I want to be Michael Jackson big in terms of fashion and art, but Prince big in terms of being so emotional and not giving a fuck about what anyone thinks as long as everything is organic.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I hate questions like this, but I'd like to hire a staff, open up a massive Akstar store with absurd architecture and about 5 floors, be somewhat satisfied, but grateful with how my career is going, and maybe starting a family.