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Cyndi, Barbie, Nicki

A conversation with Minaj.

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So is it safe to assume that you were always interested in fashion?
I’ve always been intrigued by color and by interesting hair. I was one of those weird little girls doing my own hair at the age of 9. I was, like, getting weird gels and new brushes and cornrow holders. I would tweak and perm at the age of 13. When I first went to get my hair colored, I was about 14 and I wanted blonde highlights. The beautician said, “No, you have to get your mother on the phone,” and I was just crying and begging. I’ve always been experimenting. Cyndi Lauper’s videos—that’s what intrigued me.

And you definitely use your looks to get noticed.
I like the idea of doing something that everyone else is not. I get high off that. Just the idea that other people don’t have the balls to do something—that’s my thing.

You were at a lot of fashion shows last season.
The biggest surprise to me was that after I went to some shows with Anna Wintour, I got an autographed photo from her the next day that said, “We match!” I had on these, like, weird balls and craziness, and she had on this really sophisticated dress, but they both were orange. I was like, “Oh my God, I’m getting this framed!” I’m going to get a bigger version and put it in my gym, because that’s some fly motivation.

What’s the story with your different alter egos?
I have different personalities, so I just started naming them. Like, there’s one that’s angry, a little more in-your-face. I named that person Roman. He guest stars on my new album. There’s also his mother, Martha. She guest-stars as well. She’s from London. I also have a Barbie character that comes out every now and then. She’s soft-spoken, really sweet, and polite. She’s got a kid’s voice.

Do you dress for your different personalities?
If I’m more dressed down in sweats and black hair, that’s the Nicki character. Roman is more outlandish with his dress code—he’ll wear speakers on his butt and stuff like that. Barbie wears little cute dresses that don’t show too much skin.

Are you coming back to Fashion Week this time?
I’m not impressed to be in that world. I’m in my own world. I think sometimes the fashion world isn’t even about clothes anymore; it’s about this “in” crowd, and I’m not into that. But I’m doing a Barbie fashion show. They did a Barbie for me, and that is super friggin’ amazing.


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