Nicki Minaj opens up about a fashion collab with Kanye West that never materialized.
Today Joe Budden released his highly anticipated interview with the rap queen. At one point during the nearly two-hour conversation, Nicki opened up about her successful partnership with Fendi, which came after the release of her single “Chun-Li” in 2018.
“‘Chun-Li’ said ‘Fendi keeps printing’ and that changed everything,” recalled Nicki (50:00 mark). “When ‘Chun-Li’ came out and I said ‘Fendi is on’, all the girls started posting and said ‘Fendi is on’, so Fendi made me a deal.”
Her Fendi Prints On 2019 collection with the Italian luxury fashion house was an instant hit and sold out. “All the stuff flew off the shelves,” she added.
After showing how bankable she was at Fendi, Nicki approached Ye about a possible female partnership with Yeezy.
“I told Kanye about it. I said, ‘Hey look I’m about to do something and I just wanted to make sure I talk to you first’ because you know I have so much respect for him,” she said.
However, the idea never came to fruition because he was worried about how his then-wife Kim Kardashian would feel about him working with another female celebrity. “He said, ‘Well, if I did something with you, my wife probably wouldn’t like that idea, because if I did a female version of the Yeezys or whatever, I should give that to my wife instead. it should probably go to my wife.’”
While Nicki understood where Ye came from, she was also surprised by his reaction to previous comments he had made about the fashion industry refusing to give influential black artists opportunities.
“Kanye has been very vocal about the fact that the fashion industry once didn’t let him in,” she said. “So if any black woman you know has proven to be a sellable in that particular space… I come to you as a black man that I look up to, I do that because you inspired me, because you said the fashion industry didn’t want to let us in even though we’re so influential.”
Nicki said she doesn’t know how Kim actually felt about her pitch. “That’s how it is done [Ye] thought she’d think about it, and so it is what it is.”
She decided to share the story as a cautionary tale about supporting your own. “We have to be careful that if we put these things outside and if there’s a door open, we find a way to have another black face there in that room,” she said. “That’s why it’s taking us so long to get into so many things, even though we’re the most influential people on the planet.”
Elsewhere in the in-depth interview with Joe Budden, Nicki also gave Lil’ Kim props while he weighed a possible Verzuz fight.