‘Designers get really big and really rich off of our culture.’
Nicki Minaj has been making her usual rounds at NYFW this season, sitting front row and joining the party circuit, but that doesn’t mean she’ll refrain from pointing out the fashion world’s flaws. After attending the Philipp Plein Spring 2018 show on Saturday, the superstar rapper took a dig at the industry during the designer’s afterparty.
“Thank you, Philipp Plein, for including our culture,” she said, according to The Cut. “Designers get really big and really rich off of our culture, and then you don’t see a motherfucker that look anything like us in the front row half the time. So let’s make some noise for Philipp Plein tonight.”
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Minaj sat front row for Plein’s cabaret-themed show. Other notable attendees included 50 Cent, Fabolous, EJ Johnson and Yo Gotti, who performed with Nicki at the afterparty. The show also featured a diverse cast of models, with celebrities like Rae Sremmurd, 21 Savage, Metro Boomin and Snoop Dogg’s son Cordell Broadus gracing the runway with Adriana Lima, Irina Shayk, Jasmine Sanders, Elsa Hosk and Shanina Shaik. Teyana Taylor closed the show with another fierce walk and Future performed live during the presentation.
Plein often spotlights diversity at his over-the-top shows. He notably cast only black models in his Spring 2014 show and ad campaign and was one of the few designers to cast transgender models for Fall 2017.
This also isn’t Minaj’s first time calling out the lack of visibility of the black community, Refinery29 points out. The rapper spoke out ahead of the 2015 VMAs, saying if she were “a different ‘kind of’ artist,” “Anaconda” would’ve been nominated for Video of the Year.
She also called out Miley Cyrus’ appropriating black culture in a New York Times interview later that year. “If you want to enjoy our culture and our lifestyle, bond with us, dance with us, have fun with us, twerk with us, rap with us, then you should also want to know what affects us, what is bothering us, what we feel is unfair to us,” she said.
Last season’s runways were the most diverse yet, but only 31.5 percent of New York models were people of colour, according to a report by The Fashion Spot. Hopefully, with the help of Nicki Minaj’s wakeup call, the industry will continue to be more inclusive.