Cardi B Went From Wearing Pasties On The Red Carpet To Fashion’s Top Designers. Here’s A Look Back On Her Style Journey
It’s hard not to look at Cardi B and absolutely revel in her career evolution. In the pace of four years, the Dominican-Trinidadian rapper has transformed herself from a learning-as-she-goes newbie to Queen Cardi B. While for most celebrities such a glow-up has led to changes in the way they choose to present themselves stylistically, this Bronx-born and raised Latina has used her style to affirm that she plans on remaining true to herself.
Here’s a look at Cardi B’s style evolution.
Early on, the hip-hop star followed the footpath of iconic female rappers.
In September 2015, Cardi B attended The Blondes show in New York at Milk Studios for New York Fashion Week’s The Shows.
During an appearance, Cardi emulated the unapologetic aesthetic of queen rappers that came before her, particularly Lil’ Kim. In 1999, Kim was the hottest female rapper of her time. Similar to the purple sequined pasty she sported at the MTV awards show that year, Cardi dropped jaws while wearing pasties at a 2015 NYFW show. Lil’ Kim’s look remains one of today’s most talked-about red carpet outfits and has undoubtedly been paid tribute by Cardi multiple times.
The Bronx-born Latina embraced her curves with simple looks.
In February 2016, Cardi attended Bronner Brothers as a TV personality for the International Beauty Show.
Two years have passed since she sported a revealing dress and baseball cap at the Georgia World Congress Center, still, it’s easy to imagine the rapper wearing a similar outfit today, just with a bit more flare.
Belcalis Almanzar soon started showing her success by flashing labels.
In February 12, 2017, Cardi wore a white fur coat and a Gypsy dressy for Gypsy Show at New York Fashion Week.
Longtime fans of Cardi B know that the rapper has always had a love for labels. We didn’t need Bodak Yellow to learn that. Similar to Lil’ Kim’s looks and other Black female artists in her genre, Cardi B has come to show off her success and her own embrace of her sexuality with luxurious style flexing. The photo of her in a white fur coat came just a few days after she had signed a major record deal with Atlantic Records.
Then, she started upping the glitz and showed no plans of slowing down the showstopping.
In March 2017, Cardi attended the Make Trap Great Again showcase at Stubb’s Bar-B-Que for the 2017 SXSW Conference And Festivals in Austin, Texas.
Just a month after nailing her big record deal with Atlantic Records, Cardi stepped out at SXSW festival wearing a low-cut gold dress. The revealing look is something Cardi B has shown no signs of backing away from, even now as she explores her passion for design and looks from different decades.
Once red carpet season was in full swing, Cardi established that she knows how to clean up.
In September 14, 2017, Cardi B stunned in an off-shoulder Christian Siriano ball gown for Rihanna’s 3rd Annual Diamond Ball at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.
Fans watching Cardi B’s major Cinderella red carpet moment were quite literally stunned by the rapper’s transformation. The look rolled out a new understanding of her fashion diversity to fans and showed designers that there was more to her style than the BX street looks she’s famous for. The diamond-colored, conservative, floor-length gown played a stark contrast to the styles we’d come to know the artist for in previous years. The appearance was an alert to fashion designers around the world that the Latina’s eccentricity could give even royal’s a run for their money.
But she didn’t leave behind her signature money-moving and street swag.
On October 6, 2017, Cardi performed during the BET Hip Hop Awards 2017 at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach, Florida.
Just a few weeks after snatching breaths at Rihanna’s big bash, Belcalis stole the show at the BET Awards in an ox, mink, and ostrich intarsia coat by Christopher John Rogers Eddie. The bold number had the best of hip-hop stylists analyzing it as an ode to Lil’ Kim.
She may have started from the bottom but one thing she’s not changing on her way to the top is her trendy hair.
On December 29, 2017, Cardi performed at The Joy Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Wearing a sheer leotard and blue locks, the rapper put on quite a show for fans at a performance in New Orleans. The ‘Velvet Blue Mink Full Lace Unit’ that flowed past Cardi’s shoulders were styled by Atlanta hairstylist Arrogant Tae.
Then Queen Cardi emerged to show us what regular, degular, shmegular looks like when it meets shwanky.
On January 28, 2018, Cardi B attended the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
In another gorgeous look, Cardi B revealed that the rapper life can be just as a graceful and elegant as a hip-hop artist wants to be.
When stepping out, the Latina rapper doesn’t shy away from her pelitos.
On February 3, 2018, Cardi B attended the 2018 MAXIM party produced By Karma International in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Sporting a look that plenty of Latinas know well, Cardi B stepped on to the red carpet of a Maxim party rocking a high ponytail and baby hairs. Once again proving that while her label game might have been elevated, Cardi B’s glow up is more about glam and career power and not at all about losing her roots.
She has continued her path of becoming an icon while showing up The Icons.
On February 10, 2018, Cardi B sat front and center in a row with Whoopi Goldberg, Meg Ryan, Molly Shannon, Brad Walsh, Jaimie Alexander and Sarah Rafferty while attending the Christian Siriano fashion show for New York Fashion Week.
Sitting among a row of some of the entertainment’s industry’s most famous style veterans, Cardi B stood out at the Christian Siriano fashion show while sporting a fur coat and sunnies, looking equal parts fly and opulent.
She has proved herself to be the ultimate award winner and fashion maven.
On March 11, 2018, Cardi B accepts her award for Best New Artist onstage during the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Inglewood, California.
Having quickly proven herself to be a fashion favorite for Christian Siriano, the rapper wore a burgundy tulle dress by the designer from his fall 2018 collection just weeks before the drop of her debut album. The playful dress turned out to be a perfect match for her exuberant acceptance speech and perhaps one of her most talked-about looks while rumors of her pregnancy were further stirred online.
During the 2018 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival Cardi B tore up the festival during her performance. But it was 90s R&B feels that truly caught our attention. Her slick all-white outfit paired with baggy pants and exquisite rizos was a look to vibe to.
Cardi B’s MET Gala outfit could literally inspire a new religion.
For the 2018 Met Gala theme, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,” Cardi B showed up to the event looking bold and bodacious. The Dominican-Trinidadian Latina dove headfirst into the event’s theme with a dress by Jeremy Scott and a jeweled encrusted crown to match.
Cardi is proving to be one of fashion’s top players. We can’t wait to see what other fashion rules she continues to break and what other labels will fight to dress the Latina rapper from The Bronx.