Photo by Ellen von Unwerth
Let me just start by saying that I don't like Nicki Minaj -- I love Nicki Minaj. I have always loved her music, her vibe and her approach…she's in your fucking face. She was a star from the first moment she gave us the one-two punch of her verse on Kanye's “Monster" and her debut album, Pink Friday. She's appeared on every track that we know and love, and has collaborated with just about everyone cool. Funny fact, an image of Nicki sitting with Anna Wintour at New York Fashion Week (a gift to me from photographer Patrick McMullan) has been a centerpiece of my art collection in my home. Nicki has been on my mind for years.
We have never called an issue Break the Internet since we did it back in 2014 with Kim Kardashian. It takes a certain type of talent, with an awesome fan base and the ability to put trust in PAPER to work our magic. I have always loved all of the looks that Nicki has done (and she has done them all). Her style (typically anchored by her off-the-charts hair choices) matches her musical talent perfectly. Break the Internet is all about the big idea, the word, the image. It came to me one day that 'Minaj à trois' had never been done. HOW? We have seen different versions of Nicki, from high fashion to seductive to in-your-face and eye-catching all at the same time. But we had never seen all of these together -- and now we have the chance, thanks to our cover shoot with the rap star and Ellen von Unwerth. Welcome to Break the Internet.
Stay tuned for the rest of the cover story, which launches tomorrow (Wednesday, November 15th) afternoon -- we promise it won't disappoint. And check back on papermag.com at the end of the month to see more stories from the new issue (which hits stands Tuesday, November 28th) with more photos and interviews that we're confident will make the Internet go crazy.
Left: Bodysuit by Baroness, belt is vintage Giorgio Armani, earrings by Fallon and boots by Pleaser Shoes
Center: Underwear by Baroness, boots by Saint Laurent, bracelets by FANASKII, choker by Djula
Right: Dress by Nene L.A. Shiro
Photography by Ellen von Unwerth
Styling by Nicki Minaj
Hair by Tokyo Stylez
Makeup by Sheika Daley using M.A.C.
Nails by Tina Le
Photo Assistants: Sean O'Neill, Shane Ian Burke, Ryan Hickey
Production: Clara Rea, Louise Lund & Devon Reitzel Munson for kf Production
Fashion Assistants: Sam Woolf, Ella Cepeda, Tasmin Meyer Ersahin and Hannah Lifshutz
Tailor: Cynthia Noble
Set Stylist: Tom Criswell
Hair Assistant: Dionna Cannon
Production Assistants: Jose Bota, Ana Sofia Pomales, Gregorio Acuna
Location: Pelican Hotel & Cafe