We all have our idols and mine is Nicki Minaj. I could pen a PhD level thesis explaining Nicki’s impact on hip-hop and reviving the female rap industry. Her new album, Pink Friday 2, became certified platinum, the fastest album to hit platinum this decade by a black female artist, only behind SZA’s SOS. Charting on the Billboard Hot 100 for 15 consecutive years, Nicki has nothing left to prove.

Nicki graced the cover of American Vogue last month — looking subdued and elegant, yet conveying power, accomplishment and drive. 

Nicki Minaj poses on the cover of US Vogue’s December 2023 issue.

If you study it closely, there are many fashion takeaways we can implement in our everyday lives.

When you think of Nicki Minaj, some words that might come to mind are “pink wigs”, “eccentric style”, “big butt”, and “animated” — the words synonymous with her mainstream impact on music and fashion. 

What is pictured on the Vogue cover though, is far from that. It’s the real Nicki — subdued, natural, simple styling that is breathtaking, classy and ethereal. A photo fit for her cover story diving not only into the many accolades of her career that span wider than just the pink wigs, also the transition into motherhood. 

She graces the cover with confidence — her core fans know that this is the real Nicki, the Nicki that doesn’t need all the animation and funky fashion choices. She has always been very open and vulnerable with her fans, this cover highlighting that intimacy.

Now, not all of us are gracing the cover of magazines, let along Vogue. However, at the top of 2024 you might be:

  • In need of new headshots
  • Are rebranding your dating app profile
  • Updating your website content
  • Need to be more present on social media
  • Are about to interview for new jobs or
  • Are ready to show up looking more confident

The key to being iconic is that you don’t need much more than just who you are. An outfit is meant to perfectly compliment your personality and vibe. In these high-stakes scenarios listed above, the best thing you can do is to lead with your aura. That is… your smile, the look in your eyes — it’s all energy it’s palpable. Drop into the version of you that has all the clients in the world, the social media following of a top-tier influencer, the relationship of your dreams or the CEO status. 

Bright colours, bold makeup, eccentric looks, those might be in your vision — though to truly have your energy embodied and showcase your personality, consider the Nicki effect:

  • Less is more with makeup, highlight natural features
  • Simple and elegant hairstyle
  • Monochromatic or matching clothes
  • One piece that is the highlight of the outfit: a tie, colourful shoes or lipstick 

Most importantly, it’s the mindset — calm, confident energy. Think of who is on the receiving end of your look — an audience at the conference you’re speaking at, the recruiters on LinkedIn, the prospective customers on Instagram or the new flame you’re about to match with on Hinge. Beyond the clothes, what do you want them to feel about you?

Because Nicki struck us with feelings of boldness, confidence, beauty, and femininity all in one shot. You have the power to lead with your perfect, authentic energy too.

Anthony Tomizza

About the Author

Anthony Tomizza elevates creatives to own their inner icon by stepping into their most authentic expression through de-conditioning identity to unveil their true style. He provides not just a Queer Eye Tan-inspired makeover of your closet and fashion but also the 1:1 Karamo-style coaching. Together, allowing creative expression to flow for icons to gain visibility by elevating their image. anthonytomizza.com