IN A BLACK CROP TOP and leggings, padding around her house during a wardrobe fitting, Nicki Minaj is a low-key host. So laid-back, in fact, that as she offers everyone water, it’s hard not to think, “Did I really just meet the Nicki Minaj?” But to see her the next day, as she dramatically poses for Steven Klein’s camera, is to Get It. Flanked by male models, she’s wearing a pink swimsuit that curves around her body like a NASCAR track and a matching hooded jacket. She is transformed. She is Queen. She is, to quote the virtuoso verse that imprinted her on the world’s consciousness, a motherfucking monster.
As for the clothes she’s wearing (along with those on the models around her), they’re part of her collection Fendi Prints On – a 127-piece collaboration with the esteemed Italian fashion house that has just launched and caters to women, men and even children. Minaj has a history with the brand. Last year, she appeared on the cover of ELLE US, in a shoot by the late Karl Lagerfeld, Fendi’s then-creative director. It was a busy time for Minaj, but she jumped at the chance to make it happen. “He was always someone I wanted to work with, and I was just counting down the moments,” she says. And her impression of Lagerfeld? “He wasn’t as serious as I thought he would be. He was focused, but not mean. And he was so interesting to just watch in his habitat.”
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