Earlier this year, Nicki Minaj debuted her most natural look yet at the MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles. Her change in aesthetic turned heads; the "back-to-basics" Minaj made headlines, as she kicked off her album promo with a completely rebranded look and appeal, which stirred up fans' memories of an earlier Minaj.

Like we said in our cover story, no one is going to tell Nicki Minaj what Nicki Minaj is going to do besides, well, Nicki Minaj. But with the help of her new stylist, Rushka Bergman, Minaj was able to rebrand herself and return to a more natural look that demanded attention. Bermgan, who is a contributing fashion editor for L'Uomo Vogue and Vogue Italia, was the personal stylist for Michael Jackson and brought that talent to working with Nicki. After Bergman came to Minaj's December 2014/January 2015 Complex cover shoot, we caught up with her to discuss styling Nicki, helping her rebrand with a more natural look, and more.

Interview by Lauren Nostro (@LAURENcynthia)

When did you first start working with Nicki?
I started working with Nicki a few months ago. Our first project together was the MTV Video Music Awards 2014 in Los Angeles.

When you first met, what were some goals you had for styling her?
When we first met, I thought of introducing new designers and bringing a fresh style for her. I wanted to implement more classics for a modern, sophisticated and timeless feeling. Her image has changed from the moment she wore the sequined python print dress by Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent. 

What did she want her image to be, or for you to help her become?
I would love to show the world who she really is. It’s about her look and character, and her clothes should come secondary. They need to fit her body like a sculpture. She’s quite feminine with curves, so her style is belongs to a more classic woman. I know that she is a rap star, but it’s important to balance who she really is with her image. She’s a multimedia artist, an actress, and a business woman. Clothes say a lot about who you are; they cannot overpower you, especially when you’re on stage and millions of people are watching you. You have to be the leader for a young generation. 

What's it like working with her?
My personal taste is more minimal. I have worked for L’Uomo Vogue and Vogue Italia for so long, so working with artists can be challenging for me. Although, this is not the first time I’ve worked with celebrities. I was the personal stylist for Michael Jackson for three years. I’ve also worked with Madonna, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Kim Kardashian, and many others; to work with Nicki is very fresh and new. I believe in her, which is why I decided to work with her. She has one of the biggest hearts in the industry.

Working with Nicki is very easy because we understand each other. We work smoothly and respect each other as artists. I believe this is just the beginning of a lovely collaboration of many more projects in the near future.  

Did you encourage her to take a more natural approach with her look over the past year?
I can influence her style, of course, but she needs to feel comfortable in what she’s wearing. Lately, it’s been about a classic and natural look, which suits her personality, now that she’s in the spotlight more than ever before. With her new look, I think people will see her more as an artist and listen to her music in a different way, in order to see her for who she is. From my perspective, she’s an incredible woman. She’s very smart, brave, and very funny!

What are some things you've seen in her that you haven't seen in other artists?
I think that Nicki is quite unique in the music industry, because she is the number one female rapper in the world. I think her spirituality sets her apart from the others. She has a good soul, believes in God, is a very disciplined hard-worker, and has a strong ambition to succeed. Her style is as unique as her music. It’s as timeless as her voice, and her songs come from the heart. 

What's the most rewarding part about working with Nicki?
Working with Nicki has been very inspiring. It’s new and challenging project, in which I’m very excited to participate in. Only great minds like hers can afford a simple style. Each second of our lives is a new and unique moment of our universe. Fashion does not only exist in dresses. Fashion is in the sky, the street, galleries, music studios, libraries, museums, and in the cinema. It’s all around us. It is the way we think; the way we hear; the way we feel.