EXCLUSIVE: Nicki Minaj's Stylists Talk 'Anaconda': Pink G-String 'Happened Organically'


The video has only been out one day, but Nicki Minaj's 'Anaconda' has no doubt already secured its spot in pop culture history.

The racy clip features Minaj in various states of dress (and undress), showing off her assets in everything from high fashion (Alexander McQueen and Balmain are both name dropped in the song) to a simple pink g-string.

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While Minaj's vision shines through in the Collin Tilley-directed video, she needed a bit of help when it came to bringing her ideas to life. Enter: McClairn and McKenzie, the styling team that has been by Minaj's side for nearly two years now.

The duo (Jerod McClairn and Nonja McKenzie) speaks exclusively with ET Online about dressing the superstar for her super sexy video.

"Nicki always has a vision," says McClairn. "It's all Nicki's vision, really."

Even that bootylicious single art? The NSFW image sent shockwaves through the Internet last month and spurred countless memes… and it almost didn’t happen.

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"We initially gave her the g-string just to be an undergarment under the sweatpants," reveals McKenzie. "But when she saw her silhouette with her Jordans on, she got inspired and felt like that should be one of the looks, also." Adds McClairn: "She thought it looked so quintessentially '80s."

The '80s were alive and well on the video set. With "Anaconda" sampling Sir Mix-A-Lot's iconic 1986 single "Baby Got Back," there were plenty of throwback items to be seen. Yes, we're talking about those incredible pink fanny packs. For those, we can thank wardrobe stylist Gianni Catalina, who was responsible for pulling together the dancers' looks.

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"I hope fanny packs make their comeback!" Catalina tells ET. "I had really wanted to use them for an additional pop of pink and to help tie the look together. I thought it was unexpected and fun and in this world we all created, it just worked and wasn’t too crazy – just enough." She says that Nicki's team drew lots of inspiration from Sir Mix-A-Lot's video to nail the "sexy, fun, unapologetic" vibe.

But that gym scene was just one of several vignettes. Among Nicki's other eye-popping "Anaconda" looks was a gold chain top (custom made by Laurel DeWitt), skin-tight shredded leggings, a barely-there one-piece swimsuit, crop tops and short shorts, and – McClairn's favorite – a jaw-dropping Alexander McQueen ensemble. The top: vintage McQueen, designed by McQueen himself.

"The pieces that we used were coveted and hard to get," said McClairn. No kidding: the Balmain look required a small miracle. After finding the perfect top in Nicki's super petite size through an online warehouse, McClairn and McKenzie had to have the piece shipped from New Jersey to New York to Los Angeles – all in just one day. "It was like looking for a needle in a haystack," says McClairn.

The duo kept tight lipped about whether they'd play a role in Nicki's upcoming Video Music Awards performance, but they did open up about Nicki's upcoming "Bang Bang" video with Jessie J and Ariana Grande, on which they contributed.

"It's fun!" gushes McKenzie. "'Anaconda' is its own special thing. 'Bang Bang' is its own special thing. Everyone will enjoy both in different ways."

Follow Sophie on Twitter: @SophieSchillaci

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