The All-Original Minaj
Since becoming a fashion show front-row regular and style star, Nicki Minaj has had everyone from Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci to Donatella Versace to Oscar de la Renta clamoring to dress her. Despite her designer duds, the Trinidad-born rapper from Queens still has a penchant for a good old pair of kicks. “I remember my first pair of Adidas shoes was pretty basic—they were black and white,” Minaj, a longtime fan of the Adidas brand, tells Style.com. “More recently, I wore the Adidas wedges on the set of Madonna’s video; I could walk in them for hours. After that, I contacted Adidas about it and now they are my favorite thing to wear on tour. You get the height, but the comfort of a sneaker,” she adds. And so began her partnership with the iconic sportswear label.
Today, the pop star makes her debut in the newest chapter of the Adidas Originals “Adidas Is All In” Fall ’12 ad campaign, along with fellow brand ambassadors, her friend and designer Jeremy Scott, singer Sky Ferreira, hip-hop artist Big Sean, Korean pop phenomenon 2NE1, and NBA MVP Derrick Rose. “Adidas asked if I had anything that would work for a commercial and I said let me create something. I was already working on a particular song and I just went in and carved it out for them, and I make references to the Adidas Originals’ shell-toe sneakers,” the pop star says of her song “Masquerade” (off her new album), which she wrote specifically for the brand’s film by Melina Matsoukas, debuting here on Style.com. “As a brand, they represent fun—they are inspirational and they feel like you are running a race, kind of like the Olympics. It’s about the fight to go hard and to win and to be victorious in whatever you do. When I let them hear it, they fell in love with it.” Speaking of the Olympics, Minaj admits to being a gymnastics fan. “Yeah, actually I went home after my show last night and watched the women’s gymnastics. I just like observing like every regular human. It always amazes me what those girls can do. Hats off to them!” Minaj, who is currently on tour, says over the phone from Dallas before heading into the studio.
Of filming the video (below), which was shot in front of New York’s La Esquina restaurant, she explains, “We got to the set late at night and I didn’t really know much about what we were about to do, and they started filming a street shot, kind of like a nightlife scene of me and Jeremy Scott leaving this club and the street becomes like a runway for style. I love Jeremy and his clothes and I just walked in the trailer and put on the first thing I loved—the coat and sneakers—and said, ‘I’m ready to go.’ “
But her Adidas gig is just one of the star’s many projects—”busy” would be a massively understated way to describe Minaj these days. She’s announcing new music in a few weeks (“I know my fans will spazz over that”), shooting videos for her new album, has a fragrance due out in September and her Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded tour, and she’s currently hard at work on her own clothing line. “We already have the designs—the quality is top-notch and I won’t let anything go out that I wouldn’t wear,” she says. “The hurdle is deciding the stores to place the line in—we have gotten interest from huge giants in the industry.” Is she consulting her designer friends for a little advice? “Good question. I haven’t sat with any designers to talk about it just yet, but I am pretty sure I will chat with Jeremy and Donatella [Versace] to get their words of wisdom. I know what my fans love when it comes to dressing. I can gauge what they love based on their tweets from my videos and pictures. I am pretty sure we will do really well with it and go from there. I’m just following my heart, really.”