Most people obsessed with fashion know all about the much-desired status that a Hermès Birkin bag projects. The line of tote bags made by the French luxury goods maker Hermès is known for their intentionally high prices and “exclusivity.” Still, few knew that marketed exclusivity was shaped by white celebrities that own the bags and the lack of Black women who do.

Now, Cardi B has a message for those who think she shouldn’t own a Birkin.

Loading the player...

Fans of Hermès Birkin bags have been accusing Cardi and her fellow rappers’ of depreciating the value of the purses.

In a post on Instagram, the “Savage” rapper called out a “viral tweet” about how women in hip hop, including Cardi have depleted the value of the iconic bag. “Why is it that y’all are asking female rappers if they can get an Hermès bag from the Hermès store?” Cardi questioned in the post. “Y’all don’t do this to these white celebrities, so why is it that you gotta be asking us, like what the f*ck?”

Cardi went on to underline how rappers have increased sales for certain brands. “They say we depreciate the value. Actually, we add value! When we mention brands in hip hop, that sh*t goes up,” Cardi commented. “When ‘Bodak Yellow’ came out, you could Google that the sales [of Christian Louboutins] went up 1000%+. When I did ‘I Like it Like That’ and I said, ‘I like those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks,’ that sh*t went up too and that’s why they worked with me this year. In hip hop, we start trends.” 

Black celebrities and hip hop artists have quietly shouldered the success of the fashion industry for decades.

The effects of a rapper’s mark of approval can be seen with the sales of prestige makeup and perfume lines and even elite champagne houses like Cristal and Dom Perignon. In 2009, after years of promoting the Cristal brand, hip-hop star Jay- Z announced he was boycotting the brand after its CEO made a racial slur. Sales for the brand tanked.

Cardi’s post to Instagram exposes the racism behind these types of comments and underlines the double standard of support for white celebrities who buy Birkin bags as opposed to Black women who do. “Why is it when a Black girl or a Hispanic girl has a bag, y’all have to question whether ‘Oh is it fake?’ or ‘She’s a scammer,’ or ‘She’s f*cking [someone] for it.’ Actually, there’s a lot of boss *ss b*tches out here.”

“Don’t feel like you have to compare yourself and go to Canal Street to get a fake one to keep up. This Internet sh*t is fake … you’re still a bad f*cking b*tch, period,” Cardi went onto emphasize for fans who might not be able to afford the high ticket product.

Soon after Cardi posted the video, her husband Offset also commented, writing in a post that featured his wife and her Hermès collection, “Stop letting people on the internet tell y’all who can get a Birkin at the store, and how many Birkins you can get. Black people having access to luxury shouldn’t be a debate… by the way hip hop starts the trends!”