A Matter of Koncern
It has been recently publicized that hip-hop artist Akon has been ordered to pay a hefty fee to a leasing company for unpaid bills he has incurred. According to TMZ, Akon entered into an agreement with GTFM, a leasing company, in July of 2012 to pay $25k per month for a space on the 66th floor of the Empire State Building.
Akon was reportedly using the space for his fashion line, Aliaune Milano. He had been paying his rent up until July of 2015, then suddenly stopped paying. The rent continued to be unpaid until his company left the space in January 2016, leaving Akon responsible for nearly seven months of unpaid rent.
Akon’s Big Bill
The leasing company filed a lawsuit against Akon, but because of Akon’s failure to respond, the judge presiding over the case issued a default judgment. This means that Akon could be in risk of his wages and bank accounts being garnished by GTFM. As it stands, Akon has been ordered to pay $164,786.99 to the company.
With a net worth of around $80 million, this doesn’t seem like it would be that big of a financial burden to someone like Akon. The six figure sum is only about $15k more than what he would have originally had to pay for those seven months of rent, but still… Why make more trouble for yourself when you can afford to pay your bills?
With all the money that he’s sunk into his clothing brand, it’s hard to believe that he has been turning a profit in the venture. What looks to be the “official” Twitter account of the clothing brand has 17 followers and one tweet that reads “join us on faceboook” and includes a link to a Facebook error message that says the content is unavailable. The link in the Twitter bio, aliaunemilano.com, brings up an ad informing the viewer that the domain name is for sale.
Akon’s Fashion Line “Promo”
One of the few pieces of readily available proof that Akon does indeed have (or had) a clothing brand called Aliaune Milano is a short film on Youtube of what seems to be a promo video for the brand. Posted back in October 2013, the film shows Akon doing what looks like a black market deal with a Mafioso-type in which he exchanges diamonds for cash. The video ends with a shoot out and an explosion, but doesn’t quite leave the impression of being a promotion for a high end clothing line. See the video above.
Some of the only other evidence that the brand exists, or existed, is on an account on deviantart.com named Leenass . This account features photoshoot images of models in satin suits and pictures of flashy sneakers, but barely gives any air of having a “high fashion” presence. As for clothing available for purchase, there is one pair of jeans on sale at poshmark.com for $550, while another pair is on sale on eBay for $30. There’s not a lot of evidence that this clothing brand was ever thriving.
On The Bright Side
To be fair, looking at this business venture alone gives in unfair representation of the success Akon has experienced over the years, both in and outside of the music industry. Akon is a partial owner of an African diamond mine in South Africa which donates profits to local communities and avoids unethical practices (i.e. “blood diamonds”), and also owns a charity for underprivileged kids in Africa called Konfidence Foundation.
More famously, he started a project called Akon Lighting Africa in 2014 which provides electricity to 15 different countries in Africa. Aliaune Milano might just be a hiccup in what has otherwise been an impressive legacy for Akon. What do you think about Akon’s current legal issues? Sound off below, and don’t forget to SHARE this article!