Cardi B has responded to an offensive comment, containing racist a stereotype, wrongly suggesting that she and other women have devalued designer items.
The 'WAP' rapper has a penchant for Hermès Birkin bags, regularly displaying her impressive collection on Instagram, buying one for her two-year-old daughter Kulture and gifting Megan Thee Stallion a personalised one after her single went to number one.
Over the past few days, a tweet circulated showing a screengrab of an Instagram caption (the account in question is private), which alleged that Birkin bags had 'literally lost their value' and putting the blame at Cardi B's door.
'The city girls and Cardi have got y'all convinced that these Birkin bags are easy to get... These bags are supposed to be exclusive and you're supposed to be big in the fashion world and have relationships with these people to get one,' the caption alleged.
Cardi soon came across the tweet and addressed it directly in a video shared to her Instagram account in which she called out the racist microaggressions within the caption and delivered a lesson about Hip Hop's contribution to the fashion industry.
'Why is it that you're asking female rappers if they can get a Birkin from the Hermes store?' Cardi addressed the camera. 'Y'all don't do this to these white celebrities. So why is it that y'all got to be asking us?'
Cardi also clarified that, firstly, she bought four bags today from Hermes' store so the Instagram user's assumption she couldn't buy one was false. Secondly, so is the assertion that Hip Hop artists depreciate the value of designer items, with the Grammy winner listing off examples of how her songs have positively influenced the fashion industry.
'Actually, we add value because when we mention brands in Hip Hop, their sh*t goes up...' Cardi explained. 'We start trends... why when a Black girl or hispanic girl has a bag you have to question it with "Oh is it fake? She's a scammer?"... there's a lot of boss ass b*tches out here that own their own companies, realtors, PRs, A&Rs, doctors and dentists, the list goes on.'
The rapper also noted how her debut single 'Bodack Yellow', which repeatedly mentions 'red bottoms' in its lyrics, led to increased sales for Christian Louboutin and later when she namechecks Balenciaga trainers ('The ones that look like socks') so did theirs.
Indeed, at the time of 'Bodack Yellow', Business of Fashion reported that searches for Louboutin's had increased by 217%. In September this year, Balenciaga demonstrated their respect for Cardi B and her influence on the brand, by casting her to star in their AW20 campaign.
Cardi B's response is another reminder of the prejudice that we've typically displayed through history of Black people's contribution to fashion. Fashion archivist and writer Rashida Renee recently explained this in more detail in a must-read essay on this website.
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