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Nicki Minaj Revisits Her Life in Looks, From Pink Friday to Marc Jacobs’s Front Row

It’s been 13 years since Nicki Minaj released Pink Friday, and in that time the rapper’s sense of personal style has gained just as much fame as her bars. (This is the woman who got $50,000 for a verse with no album out, after all!) 

Minaj burst onto the scene in 2010 with a bubblegum pink wig to match her ultra-tall platforms and a mauve dress that fanned out around her. “What we were going for in this shoot was trying to make me look like a big Barbie doll,” Minaj says of her inaugural album cover. While today the image is an instant classic, she was very concerned at the time with the dress’s poofiness. Spoiler alert: The fabric behind Minaj was added in post. 

Another thing added in post? Minaj’s blue skin in her first-ever Vogue shoot for the February 2012 issue, in which Minaj wears a red Oscar de la Renta dress with matching red gloves. “He made this into something so iconic to me,” she says of photographer Steven Klein. “It just worked.”

One designer Minaj has had a particular kinship with over the course of her career is Marc Jacobs. “I’ve never been to a Marc Jacobs runway show that I didn’t think was perfect 10s across the board.” For her first show in 2018, Minaj aimed to push the envelope. “I wanted something that felt the least safe,” she says of the voluminous, burgundy cleavage-baring dress that she wore sitting front row. “The dress seems like a sophisticated, rich lady that wears huge ballroom gowns and has all these pah-ties every night. But the face is giving tuh.

Still, it was important that the dress felt like her. “I wanted Marc Jacobs to meet Nicki Minaj, not Nicki Minaj goes all the way over to Marc Jacobs with no Nicki Minaj left.” As she’s proven time and time again, she’s going to do things her way. 

Below, watch our December cover star Nicki Minaj review her life in looks. 

Director: Nina Ljeti
Director of Photography: Stephen Tringali
Editors: Evan Allan
Producers: Gigi Chavarria, Qieara Lesesne
Associate Director, Creative Development: Alexandra Gurvitch
Associate Producers: Marisah Yazbek, Lea Donenberg
AC: Jaquline Lehr
Gaffer: David Sheetz
Audio: Gloria Marie
Production Assistants: Brock Spitaels, Lauren Boucher        
Production Coordinator: Ava Kashar
Production Manager: Natasha Soto-Albors
Line Producer: Romeeka Powell
Senior Director, Production Management: Jessica Schier
Assistant Editor: Justin Symonds
Post Production Coordinator: Jovan James
Supervising Editor: Kameron Key
Post Production Supervisor: Edward Taylor
Entertainment Director: Sergio Kletnoy
Director of Content, Production: Rahel Gebreyes
Senior Director, Programming: Linda Gittleson
Executive Producer: Ruhiya Nuruddin
VP, Digital Video English: Thespena Guatieri



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