Nicki Minaj knows how to keep ’em guessing. Her landmark year—across music, film, and fashion—has been one full of turns and swerves. As quickly as she came out swinging on “Chi-Raq,” she embraced her pop princess side with “Pills N Potions.”
Just as unexpectedly as she suited up in a tough leather Moschino look for “Senile,” she paraded down red carpets in flirty Alexander McQueen dresses with a natural beauty look. And a day after performing in her most casual onstage look yet, Minaj has been announced as the face of one of the least casual brands ever, Roberto Cavalli.
Of course, looking at Minaj’s brazen style history, the partnership makes all the sense in the world. Like Cavalli, Minaj has built her reputation on bold moves and an empowering sexuality.
She’s also done it all on her own terms. Even in this high-fashion campaign, in which the singer is swathed in yards of splashy fabrics that would shrink any other model into a faceless canvas, her personality shines through. Like she’s proved all year long with her magazine covers for Elle, V, Dazed, The Fader, and Billboard, Minaj is no one’s hanger.
That’s precisely the reason Cavalli tapped her for the Francesco Carrozzini-shot campaign, aside from the fact that her twice-platinum track “Anaconda” also happens to be one of the fashion house’s symbols.
“I chose Nicki Minaj because she embodies the exuberant and modern femininity of the Cavalli woman,” the designer said in a statement. “In recent years we have become accustomed to women castigated in clothes that hide their body shapes. With this campaign, I wanted to send a strong counter-trend message. I wanted a sensual woman who is aware of her body, who is not afraid to show her curves but rather make them her strength.”