Discover Nicki Minaj’s fashion highlights throughout the years, from her stunning red carpet appearances to her unforgettable performance outfits. Jessica Booth, a writer for PEOPLE since 2022, has shared her expertise on wedding fashion, parenting, and lifestyle in publications including Forbes, The Knot, Romper, Brides, and What To Expect.
Nicki Minaj is known not only for her music but also for her one-of-a-kind fashion sense. Her unique style has always garnered attention on the red carpet, at events, and award shows. From her debut on the major red carpet in 2010, Nicki’s clothing choices have always been bold and daring. She never shies away from taking risks, even when she is seated in the front row at a fashion show or attending the Met Gala. Nicki effortlessly pulls off neon colors and mixes and matches wigs with her outfits. Even when she opts for a more understated look, she still manages to turn heads. It is difficult to keep track of all the times she has made us do a double-take, so we’ve compiled a list of Nicki Minaj’s most unforgettable outfits, starting with her appearance at the MTV VMAs in 2010.
In her debut appearance at the MTV VMAs in 2010, Nicki Minaj opted for a charming peach-colored outfit. She paired her pastel jumpsuit with black platform heels that made her look even taller, and sported a pink-peach wig with bangs that looked sharp. Nicki’s outfit was completed with stand-out, multi-colored jewelry pieces.
When Nicki Minaj showed up on the 106 Park set in New York City, she was wearing a cute and short white dress. She added some flair to the outfit by wearing a neon green wig, some flashy gold jewelry, and some bright orange knee-high boots. It was quite the eye-catching ensemble. This wasn’t the first time Nicki made a statement with her fashion choices. Back in 2011, she made waves at the Grammys with her unique style as well.
Nicki Minaj definitely made a statement with her outfit when she appeared at the Grammy Awards for the very first time in 2011. She opted for a head-to-toe leopard print ensemble designed by Givenchy. Her look included a leopard print silk satin dress, gloves, belt, leggings, and shoes. To top it all off, she styled her hair in a Bride of Frankenstein-inspired manner. When asked about her outfit by Ryan Seacrest on E! Live from the Red Carpet, Minaj described it as a work of art and a miraculous piece that perfectly reflected her inner lioness, fierceness, fashionista side, and more.
Back in 2011, Nicki Minaj rocked an eye-catching and vibrant look at the VMAs that still stands out as one of her most creative ensembles. The outfit was a bold mix of knee socks, a 3-D metallic dress, a stuffed animal train, an oversized ice cream cone necklace, a surgical mask (before they became a common accessory), and a towering hairstyle in a rainbow of candy colors.
Back in 2011, during the 39th Annual American Music Awards, Minaj kicked off the show with an electrifying performance. She sang a mashup of her hit songs, such as “Super Bass” and “Turn Me On.” The artist also graced the red carpet in a stunning ensemble by Oscar de la Renta. She wore a black lace top paired with a flowing green skirt. To complete her look, she donned a choker around her neck and dyed her hair bright pink. Fast forward to the following year, and Minaj once again made heads turn at the Grammys in 2012.
Nicki Minaj, who was nominated for the Best New Artist award, made a quite an entrance at the Grammy Awards by bringing along a man dressed as the Pope on the red carpet. The rapper herself donned a red satin robe with a hood and black beaded details that gave off a nun-like vibe during the event. This move certainly caught many people by surprise.
During the 2012 VMAs, Minaj grabbed everyone’s attention with her tight-fitting Donatella Versace jumpsuit. This all-black outfit was decorated with lace, gemstones, and bold red accents which added a touch of glamour. Completing her look was a bright yellow wig and a classic black newsboy cap. Minaj truly knows how to make a statement with her fashion choices.
It’s interesting to note that Nicki Minaj’s outfit, a Monique Lhuillier gown in chartreuse color, is considered one of her more understated looks. She wore this dress during the AMAs in 2012 and accessorized it with Charles Albert jewelry, a platinum blonde wig, and bold pink lipstick. In another event, the Met Gala in 2013, Nicki stunned in a different outfit.
In 2013, Nicki Minaj played it safe for her first appearance at the Met Gala. She wore a stunning navy blue Tommy Hilfiger gown that may not have been fully aligned with the Punk: Chaos to Couture theme but still managed to turn heads. The embellishment of red lipstick and a beautiful gold necklace complemented the elegance of her look. Additionally, she made an appearance at the Billboard Music Awards later in the year.
At the Billboard Music Awards, the rapper sported an equally dazzling appearance. She rocked a red pleated dress, complemented by a platinum blond curly wig. This look was reminiscent of her style at the BET Awards back in 2013.
Nicki Minaj made a stylish appearance at the BET Awards 2013 wearing a stunning black Alexander McQueen gown that hugged her curves. The dress had intricate lace detailing and a daring plunging neckline. Surprisingly, the rapper skipped her usual flamboyant wigs and went for a sleek platinum blonde bob, which complemented the overall simple yet elegant look.
For quite some time, Minaj has been a regular attendee at various Fashion Week events held in various cities worldwide. In 2014, while attending the shows in N.Y.C., she was dressed in a sleek gown with furry straps that had a bondage-inspired design. To complete the outfit, she wore black platform heels that were extremely high and had a retro-chic shoulder-length hairstyle that made her stand out. Additionally, she was spotted at the MTV Movie Awards in the same year.
Minaj opted for a simplistic and elegant style at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards, showcasing an Alexander McQueen black gown coupled with stunning gold jewelry. Her appearance was accentuated by dark waves and a deep side part, fitting perfectly with the overall sophisticated theme. Later that year, she graced the stage of the MTV European Music Awards with her presence.
Back in 2014, Nicki Minaj was bestowed with the privilege of hosting and performing at the EMAs held in Scotland. She even bagged the Best Hip Hop award that night. Amidst the numerous looks she sported, her two-piece performance outfit caught the fancy of many ardent fans. The ensemble comprised a bedazzled bra top, gloves to match, and a floor-sweeping skirt that shone bright as she graced the stage.
During the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, Nicki Minaj showcased her sense of style with a unique blend of traditional and contemporary fashion elements. Her black dress featured strategic cutouts, which added a modern edge to the classic design. She complemented her outfit with soft waves and a minimalist makeup look that perfectly complemented her overall aesthetic. Fast forward to the 2015 MTV VMAs, and Nicki was once again turning heads with her daring fashion choices.
At the Grammy Awards back in 2015, Nicki Minaj was simply stunning! She wore a shining gold dress that had a plunging neckline, transparent sections, and lovely floral details. To complete the look, she opted for blunt bangs.
In 2015, Nicki Minaj stunned everyone with her Grammys look which showcased her daring and sophisticated sides. She donned a shimmering black Tom Ford gown with a plunging neckline that was adorned with sequins. The outfit was accessorized with sparking bracelets, and her hair and makeup were kept low-key to complement the attire. Later that year, she also made a statement at the AMAs with her unique style and fashion sense.
In 2015, Nicki Minaj made a bold and fashionable statement at the American Music Awards. She went for a chic look that was both daring and captivating. A large cutout on the dress revealed her stomach, adding just the right amount of sexiness to the already glamorous gold embellishments. This wasn’t the only time Nicki showed off her fashion sense in 2015; she also made an appearance at New York Fashion Week.
Nicki Minaj was spotted at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2015 fashion show in New York City donning a unique streetwear look. She wore thigh-high snakeskin boots paired with an oversized fur jacket and a green and black ensemble that exuded both style and comfort.
Minaj truly embraced the Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology theme for her second Met Gala appearance. She opted for a sleek all-black ensemble by Moschino, complete with a criss-cross halter top and buckle details. To complement this look, she added long sheer gloves and Stuart Weitzman heels. Minaj’s fashion choices were on point at the Night of Stars Gala in 2016 as well.
At the 2016 Fashion Group International Night of Stars Gala, the rapper made quite a statement with her bold fashion choice. She wore a full lace bodysuit paired with a long and sheer kimono that had fur trimming. This was one of the most daring looks of the night. We can certainly count on Nicki Minaj to bring some edge to any red carpet event!
Prior to her outstanding joint performance of “Side To Side” with Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj flaunted a classy and fashionable appearance on the red carpet. She wore a stunning Bao Tranchi dress that had sheer details and well-placed cutouts, which perfectly complemented her sleek hairstyle. This happened during one of her appearances at the Alexander Wang Show in 2016.
In September 2016, during the Alexander Wang show at Pier 54 in N.Y.C., Minaj switched back to a more stripped-down look. The rapper donned a black dress that was tailored to her figure and featured a plunging neckline and a flared ankle-length hem. The only accessories were nude studded heels, and her long black hair was parted down the center. The overall look was understated yet stunning. Later in 2016, Minaj performed at TIDAL X:1015 Concert.
Minaj was captured in stunning attire at the TIDAL X:1015 show in New York. She donned a sheer lace Margiela catsuit that stole the show. The outfit was elevated to another level with the addition of black thong underwear and black nipple pasties, making it a bold and daring look.
Nicki Minaj started the year off in style with a spectacular appearance. She spent the night partying at E11EVEN club in Miami, wearing a dazzling silver bodysuit that hugged her curves and featured a plunging neckline that went all the way down to her belly button. To complement the outfit, she wore a high, super-long ponytail hairstyle and adorned herself with lots of jewelry, along with matching shoes, to complete the look for the night.
For the 14th annual CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards in New York, Minaj chose to take a bold fashion statement. She rocked a stunning black bra top with a high-low bottom, paired with black leather shorts and a matching leather belt-and-corset accessory. Her makeup game was on point with dramatic winged eyeliner and nude lips, while her luscious platinum hair cascaded down in straight strands.
Nicki Minaj returned to her vibrant and lively style during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. The rapper donned a form-fitting bubblegum pink jumpsuit made of latex, which featured cleavage cut-outs. She completed her look with sparkling jewelry and orange and pink heels. Minaj’s fashion statement was reminiscent of her previous bold and colorful ensembles.
In 2017, Nicki Minaj was among the list of celebrities who went all out in embracing the theme of the Met Gala that year which was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between”. Working closely with H&M’s team, Minaj donned a one-of-a-kind outfit that showcased an obi belt featuring the face of the designer of Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo, combined with a duchesse satin kimono top. The ensemble was completed with unique details such as black vinyl roses and red Swarovski crystals, as well as a stunning black and red train that sparkled brilliantly. Nicki Minaj also attended the AmfAR Gala that year.
During the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS Gala held in Cannes, France, Nicki Minaj stunned everyone with her alluring attire. The rapper wore a mesmerizing black lace patchwork Roberto Cavalli Couture evening dress featuring a deep-V neckline and a high ruffled slit. Later on, she switched into a nude-illusion red glittery gown that captured everyone’s attention. This isn’t the first time Nicki has made an impact with her fashion choices, as was evident during Paris Fashion Week in 2017.
Nicki Minaj made quite a statement at Paris Fashion Week’s Haider Ackermann show. She grabbed everyone’s attention with her daring outfit, featuring a revealing black Mugler top that exposed her left breast. To cover up, she wore a single diamond-shaped pastie from Agent Provocateur over her nipple. The ensemble was completed with black leather shorts, strappy heels, and sheer purple sunglasses. With this bold look, Minaj certainly turned heads and stole the show.
At the recent Harper’s Bazaar ICONS party during Fashion Week, the celebrity opted for a complete leather look. Adorned in a voluminous tiger-print gown, designed by Alexandre Vauthier, she accessorized with animal-print Saint Laurent heels and a generous amount of Tiffany Co. jewelry. The star who attended was none other than Nicki Minaj, who’s famous for her bold fashion choices, as seen at the Met Gala in 2018.
According to an interview with ET, Minaj shared that she donned a striking deep-red Oscar de la Renta gown with a dramatic train for the 2018 Met Gala, which was centered around the theme “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion The Catholic Imagination.” She also mentioned that her outfit was inspired by the devil. Additionally, Minaj attended the Fashion Media Awards in 2018.
In 2018, Nicki Minaj had numerous unforgettable moments during Fashion Week, but one that stood out was her appearance at the Daily Front Row’s Fashion Media Awards. The rapper donned a stunning purple Pamella Roland dress adorned with crystals and feathers, complemented by a short purple wig and a long studded black belt. Her overall look was nothing short of perfection, leaving a lasting impression on everyone who saw her. Additionally, Minaj wowed audiences at the VMAs later that year.
Just before receiving her Best Hip-Hop award for the song “Chun-Li” and giving a stunning performance, Nicki Minaj graced the red carpet in a sheer petticoat over a nude thong bodysuit by Off-White. To accentuate her curves, she wore a matching belt that hugged her waist. Her playful style was complete with pigtails that reached all the way down to her knees. This fashion statement further cements Minaj’s status as an icon in the music industry.
Minaj has a way of turning a basketball game into a runway show with her fashion choices. At a Lakers game in 2018, the rapper turned heads with her daring courtside outfit. She sported a body-hugging leather bodysuit with a shiny latex finish, along with fishnet stockings and sky-high stiletto pumps. To complete her bold look, Minaj wore her platinum blonde hair in a sleek high bun and accessorized with tinted sunglasses, statement earrings, a metallic silver trench coat, and a studded Chanel backpack. Overall, the ensemble perfectly embodied Minaj’s over-the-top style and made for a memorable fashion moment.
In August 2018, Minaj was photographed in N.Y.C. looking incredibly fashionable, though she may not have been dressed for the weather. She rocked a black velvet crop top with long sleeves that perfectly matched her skirt which had a stunning split up the center. The whole outfit was adorned with glittering gemstones, making her look like a true superstar.
While at the Marc Jacobs Spring 2019 fashion show in New York, Nicki Minaj caught everyone’s attention with a stunning red dress. The outfit featured grand statement sleeves and a deep neckline that made her stand out from the crowd. To add a pop of color, she chose to wear a vibrant yellow wig which was unexpected but complemented her look perfectly. You might also remember her iconic appearance at the Met Gala in 2019.
At the Met Gala in 2019, Nicki Minaj chose to wear a delicate shade of pink. Her outfit was a stunning custom Prabal Gurung dress that boasted hand-embroidered chandelier crystals and an enormous silk taffeta train. To complete the look, she wore custom pink satin Brother Vellies heels adorned with Swarovski crystals that laced up over her knees. Her hair was styled in a high ponytail that perfectly matched the soft peach color of her ensemble. In 2020, Nicki was spotted at New York Fashion Week looking as stylish as ever.
Nicki Minaj made a rare public appearance in 2020, showing up at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2020 runway show in a stunning floral mini dress with big, eye-catching ruffled sleeves. To complete her fashionable ensemble, she added an orange belt to accentuate her waist, knee-high brown boots, and a bright yellow handbag. Before the show began, Nicki was seen taking a selfie with her husband Kenneth Petty. We can’t wait to see what fashion choices Nicki will make at future events!
Nicki Minaj made a splash at the 2022 Met Gala, sporting an all-Burberry ensemble that included a grandiose gown with feathers and ruffles. She paired it with some leather pants and a sheer dotted yoke that accentuated her fashion-forward style. The outfit was completed with a massive belt that cinched her waist and a swanky leather cap that she rocked effortlessly.