A New York Times article analyzing the outrageous and often visually arresting style of rapper Nicki Minaj -
A year ago,Nicki was making dresses for herself in her basement, said John Demsey, group president of Estée Lauder Companies, which owns MAC Cosmetics, the brand that worked with her on a lipstick. “Now the others want to get their hands on her.”
Those “others” are companies hoping to get in the Nicki Minaj business. And business is booming, thanks in part to Ms. Minaj’s behind-the-scenes moves. Like Lady Gaga before her, she wants to be a high priestess of style.
Some pop stars are born, others made, others spring fully formed from the Internet. Ms. Minaj, 29, whose birth certificate reads Onika Tanya Maraj, moved from Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, to Queens with her parents when she was 5.
By early February, though, Ms. Minaj had sold more than 1 million albums, and fashion designers were beginning to take note. She was widely photographed prowling the red carpet at the Grammy Awards in a leopard-print bubble-skirted dress and matching leggings designed by Riccardo Tisci for Givenchy, and a Q-Tip shaped wig streaked with black.