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Princess Nokia is already having a busy year. The rapper dropped her first single on a major label, “It’s Not My Fault,” launched a makeup collab with NYX Professional Makeup and founded After School Special, a digital magazine and art forum.
In this episode of In The Know’s Bag Secured, the artist stopped by Saks Fifth Avenue to shop for designer bags and dish on her eclectic, campy style.
“I like taking simplistic things and using the irony of making them high fashion or making them look larger than life,” Princess Nokia told In The Know. “That’s what I learned from camp, that’s what I learned from the gay art world, that’s what I learned from my nightlife mothers.”
But when it comes to high fashion, Princess Nokia much prefers a Ferragamo piece over the Hermès Birkin, because, for her, the brand has some sentimental value.
“I have a real funny story about Salvatore Ferragamo,” she said. “That was probably the first designer bag I ever owned. I got it in high school as a Christmas gift and I loved that bag.”
She, and every 13-year-old girl at the time, were obsessed with Nicole Richie and the Olsen twins.
“I wanted to look like them and I loved their boho-chic [look],” the rapper said. “Their big distressed bags, their bangles, their big rings and their oversized glasses. Kind of the eccentrics of it, kind of like a Grey Gardens aesthetic.”
Grey Gardens is a 1975 documentary that follows Little Edie and her mother Edith, two aging relatives of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, as they live in a decaying Long Island estate. Princess Nokia is full of timeless references that inform her ever-changing wardrobe.
“It’s so camp. I would wear it, it definitely is something that I would I include. Just because it’s so crazy,” she said.
As she browsed the massive department store, Princess Nokia’s taste drew her to the Balenciaga section filled with vibrant crocodile prints in pinks and oranges.
“I love a tiny bag,” she explained. “It’s perfect to take to a rave or a party. You can carry your lipgloss, condom a credit card and that’s really what you need when you’re going out.”
Then a golden MCM Rockstar Visetos vanity case or “lunch box” caught her eye.
“I love a lunchbox just because it’s so retro. I’ve worn many lunchboxes to high school and the club,” Princess Nokia said. “I love function with form and I love taking something that’s weird or unconventional and just making a statement.”
But in the end, she picked up a Burberry Olympia Vintage Check Cotton shoulder bag for when she goes to City Island (a small island in The Bronx known for its seafood) with her boyfriend to eat crab legs.
She nabbed two Coach bags, a 1941 field tote for when she wants to feel like a “pretty girl” and a hobo bag for business lunches. Princess Nokia also took home a Marc Jacobs salmon-colored traveler tote perfect for that “downtown it-girl” vibe.
But her big splurge was a $725 Versace Barocco Mosaic nylon tote in lavender, yellow and green.
“You need a bag that says a statement but also won’t get you robbed by a hacky sack player,” Princess Nokia said. “Yeah, you can’t be caught out in these streets.”
For more from Princess Nokia, check out her latest single “It’s Not My Fault” here!
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