Remember that crazy shirt covered in pom poms that singer Nicki Minaj wore to the Carolina Herrera show Tuesday? It’s been the the tents ever since then, but today the singer has been accused of ripping off the design of a young designer named Jessica Rogers.
And it’s not just because Rogers happens to make shirts and dresses with the same little pom poms, which she refers to as puff balls. Rogers told our friends at Fashionista that Minaj’s stylist got in contact with her months ago asking if Minaj could borrow one of her designs. Rogers sent the stylist photos of the kinds of things she could do for the hip hop star, and never heard anything back. She says she even followed up with Minaj’s team because she was so eager to work with her. Instead, she only figured out that Minaj was interested in her work when she saw a knockoff of it splashed all over the blogosphere.
“When I saw the photos [of Minaj at Carolina Herrera] I was in tears,” Rogers said. “I’ve worked very hard to make my dream of being a fashion designer come true. I have built contacts with Teen Vogue, Gaga, Katy Perry, and Marina and the Diamonds has worn my garments. [Now,] I feel like everything has crumbled down.”
Poor thing. Rogers says she knew for sure Minaj (or whoever arranges her outfits) had knocked off her work when she heard Minaj refer to the little neon orbs as “puff balls.” “‘Puff Ball’” is a term that i created to describe what is usually called pom poms,” she explained. “I came up with the term ‘Puff Balls.’”
We find that last bit slightly debatable, but if Rogers is telling the truth about sending photos of her work to Camp Minaj, it wouldn’t be such a far stretch to suggest that someone made a copy for her. It’s exactly the kind of high impact look Minaj is known for, and she looked like, well, like nothing else at the tents that day.
And that’s exactly why we can’t understand why Minaj and her stylist would want to do this. It’s one thing to knock off the stripes Prada did last spring, it’s quite another to replicate something as distinctive as a shirt covered in puff balls Did they think because Rogers isn’t a big name she wouldn’t come back to haunt them? It doesn’t take a fashion genius to see that someone bold enough to make a multicolored neon dress from what are essentially grade-school level arts and crafts materials is an outspoken person. And we’re glad Rogers spoke up about this infringement on her creativity. We just hope Minaj will do what she can to make it right.