She’s legit! Not only is Nicki Minaj one of the best known rappers of her generation, but she is also a style icon. The “Super Freaky Girl” artist can often be seen rocking sexy looks both on and off the red carpet – whether she’s performing at a concert, out and about around town or attending red carpet events, the 10-time Grammy Award nominee always looks put together.
Though she’s now perfected her unique sense of style, there was a time the Barbershop: The Next Cut actress wasn’t so pleased with her fashion choices.
“Sometimes I’m happy that my career didn’t end back then because there are some things I look back on and cringe, cringe, cringe,” she recalled to Vogue for their September 2018 cover story. “I remember when people were wearing three different socks, of different colors. I did that! I also did the neon biking shorts, trying to be fashionable. I was crazy!”
Even though Nicki’s had a few style blunders over the years – and hey, who hasn’t? – the “Pound the Alarm” artist solidified her space in the fashion scene after she wore a dramatic red and black Oscar de la Renta gown to the Met Gala in May 2018.
“We have a lot of fun designing for her, from the temptress Met Gala look to the ballerina dresses for her music video,” Laura Kim, co-creative director of Oscar de la Renta, noted to Vogue at the time. “Nicki is so hardworking, and it is always inspiring to partner with such an incredible talent.”
In an interview with Joe Budden in March 2022, the rapper got candid about being a “trendsetter” and role model for fellow female rappers. “I remember I would never see any female rapper wearing pink hair. Pink hair became a part of that starter kit,” she said. “Every female rapper will put on a pink wig at some point, and I remember that was just the Nicki Minaj thing. That’s why when I said, ‘Pink wig thick ass,’ that’s an iconic Nicki Minaj line because that’s what she wears. Now it’s everybody: pink wig, thick ass, right?”
At the same time, Nicki called out the fashion industry for the double standards Black women and women of color face on a daily basis.
“I remember I would do magazine covers and they would always ask me not to wear pink hair. But I would see Katy Perry on a cover with pink hair and I would see Lady Gaga on the cover with pink hair,” she continued. “I came into the game wearing pink hair and Chinese bangs but whenever it was time to be represented on certain covers or in fashion, it was, ‘No, no we need you stripped down. No, no, down, down, down.’ But I’ve been a trendsetter.”
Keep scrolling to see Nicki Minaj’s sexiest outfits over the years!