As she’s revealed as the new face of luxury outerwear label MACKAGE, the Queen Bee answers our quickfire fashion questions

Demna and his post-fashion fashion cohorts might have propelled the humble Croc to haute levels, but don’t expect Lil’ Kim to be stepping into a pair any time soon. “I still want someone to explain to me how Crocs became so popular,” she explains of the world’s most divisive shoe. It makes sense. The legendary rapper has long favoured a far higher-octane approach to fashion, becoming one of the most influential figures in hip hop. Think of any one of your faves – from Megan Thee Stallion, to Cardi B, to Doja Cat – and they all have at least one thing in common: the fact that, at some point or another, they’ve all paid homage to the Queen Bee.

The rapper’s influence extends far beyond the confines of just hip hop, though. Across the 90s, Lil’ Kim became known as a fearless trailblazer who played by her own rules, helping to usher in a new era where hip hop and high fashion became inextricably entwined. Some of the most striking iconography of that time features the rapper: that David LaChapelle Interview cover, in which she’s stamped all over with Louis Vuitton’s immediately recognisable monogram, or the time she rocked a turquoise, Chanel-emblazoned wig immediately spring to mind, but really, the examples are endless. Her red carpet appearances were just as iconic – from the moments she showed up to the Met Gala in pink Versace mink or Marc Jacobs velvet, to that infamous VMAs look that the likes of Gucci are still referencing as recently as this season. 

Lil’ Kim is the blueprint in many ways, so it’s no real surprise that she’s been signed as the star of MACKAGE’s latest campaign. No stranger to her own monogrammed moment, the rapper steps into a series of looks bearing the brand’s first ever monogram motif for AW22. The collaboration came off the back of Lil’ Kim’s existing relationship with the label, and combines second-skin bodysuits with cosy outerwear, and for her, teaming up on the shoot was a no-brainer. “It just felt true to me,” she explains. “They knew and understood the history of my style and most iconic looks, and built the campaign around that.” As the offering lands on shelves around the world, we caught up with Lil’ Kim to talk fashion dos and don’ts, what makes a style icon, and what her ghost outfit would be.

What was the first moment you realised you were into fashion, do you have a specific memory? 

Lil’ Kim: I was just a kid, it was truly just self-expression, a creative outlet,  a way to stand out. But actually, it was also armour for me.

Tell me about your must-haves on a fashion shoot – what was a necessity for shooting a fashion campaign? 

Lil’ Kim: I need height and I need drama in the pieces… but no drama from the crew. 

Fave ever fashion show or collection? 

Lil’ Kim: I love the drama and sex appeal that Marc Jacobs and Donatella Versace always bring to the runway.

“I don’t really mess with memes” – Lil’ Kim

What item of clothing would you save from all your belongings? 

Lil’ Kim: Some of my Met Gala looks were pretty epic, so probably one of those. 

You’re a style icon but who’s your style icon? What makes a style icon? 

Lil’ Kim: Owning your vibe and your energy, and that coming through in your fit. 

What’s the last meme you saved? 

Lil’ Kim: I don’t really mess with memes [laughs]

What would your ghost outfit be? 

Lil’ Kim: That’s a tough one, probably a catsuit.  

What outfit do you put on when you want to feel the most confident?

Lil’ Kim: It depends on my mood but I love an exaggerated silhouette, mixing textures, and always something people don’t expect. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?  And the worst?  

Lil’ Kim: The worst is when a team or designer tries to force fit a vibe on you. You need to wear the clothes, the clothes can’t wear you.   

Do you have any fashion advice? 

Lil’ Kim: Just go with your gut, and wear what you feel.   

What is the worst fashion item in your opinion? 

Lil’ Kim: I still want someone to explain to me how Crocs became so popular.  

Any fashion regrets? 

Lil’ Kim: No regrets! Just looking forward to taking more risks.

Click through the campaign above and revisit the 10 celebs who ripped up the red carpet rulebook – including Lil’ Kim – below.