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Nicki Minaj Draws Heat for ‘Anti-Bullying’ Fashion Collab With Diesel

Nicki Minaj is no stranger to controversy when it comes to her music, but the “Queen” rapper is facing some serious backlash for her new fashion campaign for Italian streetwear brand Diesel.

Minaj was unveiled last week as one of the faces of Diesel’s “Hate Couture” collection, a tongue-in-cheek take on the fashion world’s “haute couture” garments, and a socially conscious collection meant to tackle online bullying.

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@diesel ✍🏽

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Minaj is featured alongside rapper Gucci Mane, actors Bella Thorne and Tommy Dorfman, South Korean celebrity Yoo Ah-in, and model Jonathan Bellini in the campaign, which Diesel debuted during Milan Fashion Week. Each celeb also co-designed a t-shirt for the collection, taking a hateful label or message they have received on social media and putting it onto a Diesel garment.

Minaj, who was involved in an altercation with rapper Cardi B at an event in New York earlier this month, designed a t-shirt and denim jacket with the words, “The Bad Guy,” written in bold font across the front of both pieces. A portion of the proceeds from the collection will go toward anti-bullying programs at Diesel’s Only the Brave (OTB) Foundation, a non-profit organization created by the company in 2008.

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You are now in the running for #CockSuckaOfTheDay award on #QueenRadio this Thursday. Barbz get me the name of this writer then hit them & tell them this is one black woman they will not bully into a corner by FRAUDULENT SHAMING TACTICS. So to clarify; because I realize common sense is far from common… I haven’t CANCELLED anything. I reversed the order of the US & EUROPEAN LEGS of my tour. This is for obvious reasons to anyone with a brain. My album was originally going to drop in June which would’ve given me 3 months of tour rehearsal. However, I was still writing & recording up to last week. We are all grown right? We can all do math right? Or will they just pretend to not have basic sense so that they can board the Nicki Hate train & get some clicks? I can’t rehearse 4 WEEKS for a tour I originally planned on rehearsing 3 months for. I give my fans QUALITY. I write & co produce my own music. Therefore, I can’t rehearse while I’m WRITING & RECORDING my album. My true fans understand & know that I will deliver an extraordinary US TOUR which begins in MAY just like I delivered an extraordinary album entitled #Queen. My European fans get the SAME EXACT DATES they’ve always had. Australian fans SAME EXACT DATES they had. Cancelled what? Where? The narrative they are trying to create is disgusting. But I must say, I’m enjoying this. I love bringing some excitement to this shit. I love having the balls others only dream about. Wait, who’s been dreaming about balls? 🙈 There’s another publication I’m giving CSOTD award to. I won’t tell you who. It’s a surprise 😜 Shout out to my fans around the world. I love you guys so much for holding me down. I’m working on a M&G experience for the tour & will update you ASAP.

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Customers were quick to call out Minaj’s involvement with the campaign, however, citing her history of beefs and questionable conduct on Twitter and Instagram (Cardi B was reportedly provoked after Minaj allegedly made disparaging remarks about Cardi’s newborn daughter — something Minaj has denied). More recently, Minaj encouraged her fans to shame a Billboard writer who had inadvertently written that the rapper’s NICKIHNDRXX tour was canceled, rather than postponed.

Diesel has long been known for its provocative campaigns, including a famous 1995 ad that depicted two male sailors kissing, and last year’s politically charged campaign titled “Make Love, Not Walls.”

The brand, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, was quick to defend Minaj on Twitter, responding to a commenter who called out its use of Minaj as a spokesperson for anti-bullying by saying it “supports” the rapper. In another Tweet, the company said simply, “You don’t make online hate disappear by hiding it.”

The Diesel “Hate Couture” collection is available now in select Diesel boutiques and at Diesel.com. The limited-edition line will be supported by a worldwide print campaign and a video, which can be viewed on Diesel’s Instagram account.

VarietySPY editorial products are independently selected. If you buy something through our links, PMC may earn an affiliate commission.

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