Which one is more unbelievable: Manhattan having a K-Mart or Nicki Minaj having a clothing line at said K-Mart? If you answered “neither,” you are correct.
Minaj launched her first clothing line, The Nicki Minaj Collection, at K-Mart last month, dripping droplets of hope into its dehydrated mouth. Other celebrities have used the same store to showcase their own fashion creations, like Sofia by Sofia Vergara, or “Charlie’s Angels” by Jaclyn Smith. Even Disney has a few choices. But what sets Minaj’s line apart from the rest?
“I really am doing it for [the fans],” Minaj said during an interview with Queen Latifah. “My fans were like, ‘Where’d you get that at!?’, but they couldn’t necessarily afford it because they’re in college…So I wanted to make dresses that I would wear.”
Manhattan’s own K-Mart displays Minaj’s “fan-based” line front and center, bombarding your eyes with shiny jewelry and illustrious colors.
After your eyes have had time to adjust, get ready to have them attacked again — albeit, this time with eccentric designs. Minaj’s line houses everything from animal print captain hats and golden studded jackets to leggings that resemble MC Hammer’s pants with a tighter fit. For longtime fans of the “Starship” rapper and singer and her bold outfit choices, the collection’s style come as no surprise.
Minaj’s boldness in style does not seem to deter buyers’ interest in the line, however.
“Mostly the dresses, especially the college kids,” Candy Teaford, K-Mart associate, said of the line’s most popular items. “That’s obviously who they’re aiming for.”
While it’s true her line would seem to be more attractive to a college student than a mature woman, what do students have to say about the collection?
“What is this?” Sara Cruse, sophomore in mass communications, said. “I feel like she is trying to bring styles from California to the Midwest and it’s not going to work.”
Minaj’s style does seem tailored to the tastes of socialites and stars, but what about the taste of the Kansas woman? The only thing the line seems to do for them is raise an eyebrow or two.
“It’s a little too avant garde for me,” Jen Dawson, junior in interior design, said. “Some of the pieces could be wearable like these jeans.”
Among the stacks and rows of flashy designs are a pair of jeans here and a dress there that are more subtle in nature than the rest. For both students, this is where their attention settled the majority of the time. And it seems like they were not the only ones.
“Some of the older women tend to like the more…medium styles,” Teaford said.
Along with the crowd favorite jewelry, what will make this line successful is its affordability. When customers can buy a dress, a T-shirt, a pair of jeans and a couple pieces of jewelry all under $100, there’s not a lot to be mad about. This will attract a lot of attention alone, specifically from college students, some who are working three jobs just to keep bologna in the fridge.
If that attention is attracted online, customers will see a model that looks a lot like Nicki Minaj. In fact, Minaj is modeling the majority of her clothing in the online catalog. Compared to Sofia Vergara, who models a few of the pieces herself but lets others take the reins, Minaj’s approach provides a stark difference in the appeal of the apparel.
“She’s not saying ‘Here are my clothes’, she’s saying ‘Look at me wearing these clothes… now buy them,’” Cruse said. “Customers don’t see themselves in the clothes. They see Nicki Minaj.”
In the end, the Nicki Minaj Collection is an affordable clothing line that houses a variety of fashion tastes from regular blue jeans to something Lady Gaga would wear to the Grammys. See for yourself if Minaj’s clothing line is, just like starships, meant to fly.