Fashion flashback. A Yeezy collaboration with Nicki Minaj was once on the table, but it turns out Kanye West turned the 39-year-old singer down because he didn’t think then-wife Kim Kardashian “would love that idea.”
The “Bang Bang” singer explained in a Wednesday, March 9, interview on Joe Budden TV that she originally approached the Donda singer, 44, following her successful “Fendi Prints On” drop in October 2019.
“I told Kanye, I was like, ‘Hey, I’m about to do something and I just wanted to make sure I spoke to your first.’ I have so much respect for him,” Minaj told Budden. “He was like, ‘Well, if I did something with you … my wife probably wouldn’t love that idea because I should be giving that to my wife instead. If I was doing a female version of Yeezy it should probably go to my wife.” This conversation was between Minaj and West was a “while ago,” when West and Kardashian were still together.
While the Grammy Award winner completely understood where West was coming from, she did make a point to address the importance of uplifting other Black creators in the industry.
“We have to be careful when we say things. Kanye was very vocal about the fashion industry not letting him in at one time, so if a Black female rapper, who you know has just shown herself to be sellable in the space … then when I come to you as a Black man that I look up to, I’m doing that because you inspired me,” Minaj explained.
She continued: “You [West] said the fashion industry didn’t want to let us in even though we’re so influential. Then, when I did ask to put it on his radar, he said what he thought his wife would feel about it. We didn’t really speak much more about it.”
Minaj did add a disclaimer that Kardashian was not present during these conversations and West’s response was simply how “he thought” she would feel about a potential collaboration between the rappers.
While West did not collab with either Minaj or Kardashian on Yeezy offshoot brands, he has teamed up with both Gap and Balenciaga in recent months.
The father of four first released a Round Jacket, which was void of buttons, zippers or pockets, with Gap in June 2021. The team went on to have a handful of additional launches.
Fast forward to January, and the Yeezy founder brought Balenciaga’s creative director Demna into the fold. The Yeezy Gap Engineered by Balenciaga collection was released in February and included a range of items, including denim jackets, sweatshirts and tees.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!