The decision wasn't easy, but after reading through the emails sent in by my readers, one email stood out apart from the rest. The winning essay was written by EJ Flemmon! EJ will receive a $300 AKOO gift card and an invite to Tip Harris' private birthday bash on Saturday.
But that's not all. In addition to dressing EJ in a wardrobe by AKOO, T.I. also threw in a pair of Beats By Dr Dre Solo HD headphones! Click the link below to read EJ's excellent winning essay!
Thank you to everyone who sent in essays!
Loyal reader EJ Flemmon writes:
"The late writer, Gore Vidal once said, “Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” It’s a statement that I find befitting for this moment. Not only is it applicable but it takes pride to all new existence of none.
As a native of Alabama and a recent transplant to Atlanta, Georgia, I, EJ (Emil Jamal) Flemmon, haven’t exactly had the most lucrative year creatively or even opportunistically. Like so many others under the tumultuous umbrella of unemployment - I unfortunately lost my job a week after my twenty third birthday right after the first of the year. Soon after I lost my apartment due to payment failure and unwilling to leave pride and ask for a handout from my parental units. My uncle who resides in Douglasville offered to take me in and house me for as long as I wanted until I was able to establish a foothold on either a career path similar to what I was already doing or a job.
You’re wondering what makes this a special case of circumstances that differ from any other applicants. The answer is - none. We should not compare our situations to that of others which can supplement envy by only knowing what appears on the surface instead of underneath. I fought myself daily because of my mishaps until I sought refuge in my faith and realized that sometimes a pit is God’s way of trying to gain your attention and that he was. To help restore your faith when things come crashing down is take that faith and your own finesse and style to overcome that of which is plaguing you.
That style is one of the many elements that I correlate to describe the classic looks AKOO offers. With its hint of urban flare dipped in a universal appeal in everything from its v-neck crew tees to its woven’s, AKOO speaks to the every day man suitable for its acronym - A KING OF ONESELF. I enjoy how I feel being a man behind the clothes with the confidence needed to exude that style.
What makes me unique enough to override the numerous entries that you’ll receive? What I can say to qualify for such a relaxing prize perhaps worthy just about everyone who makes a choice to enter? Sometimes, a pick me up is always refreshing. It provides just the right amount of levity to inspire and motivate a man for just about anything in conquering day to day challenges. Though in the physical a lack of funds, strained resources and a limited opportunistic flow being a factor for me in the moment - I’d like to believe that I’m deserving of this prize. To eliminate pride which can easily dictate things in my life or interfere with the needs that have now seemed like a mere privilege to obtain?. I’d be incredibly grateful to acquire this because I genuinely now know what it means to have an appreciation for necessities that others don’t may not opt to always think twice about or even those who aren’t fortunate to have anything more than the clothes on their backs.
Thank you respectfully for providing an outlet for those who could really benefit from this gift of style, confidence and the art of knowing you are expressively through a form of fashion such as AKOO."