FASHION

Cardi B’s Style Evolution From TV Personality To Award-Winning Rapper

Featuring her look as she won her first Grammy.


Rapper, actress, and all-around cultural phenomenon Cardi B has had an incredible career trajectory. For Bronx natives and the Latinx community in particular, watching her rise from Vine comedian to Love & Hip-Hop star to Grammy-winning rapper inspires a groundswell of pride. Her music is uplifting, indulgent, and speaks to the truth of women’s sexuality in a way that is honest and celebratory.

Her style reflects her music powerfully. Cardi B loves bright colors and statement looks, taking up the female hip-hop tradition of experimenting with fashion in artistic, eye-catching magnificence — and nipple pasties. Infusing sexuality in her looks, she glorifies her curves with cut-outs, plunging necklines, and crop tops that demand our attention. But in the years since she’s become a global superstar, Cardi has also become a muse to many fashion designers, including Thom Browne who outfitted her in a grey suit with unconventional padding, or her iconic green printed Marc Jacobs dress and boa in full-on Hollywood Regency glamour.

While her style has become more splashy as her fame grew, she’s also stuck to a few constants. Cardi loves vintage shapes and silhouettes; she’s played with midi dresses, sleek mod bob hair styles, and giant fully gowns, in a nod to the Latinx quinceñera tradition. At her first Grammys appearance in 2018, after “Bodak Yellow” took over the world, she was a princess vision in a cool white Armani gown with layers of tulle. In 2019, at the next Grammy Awards, she won that coveted golden phonograph in an archival white Mugler gown with fringed gloves that reached down to the ground.

As Cardi continues to shatter barriers for rappers and Latinx women, here’s a look back at her style as she star power began shining.

Offset and Cardi B are seen leaving a shop on January 22, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Astro/MEGA/GC Images)

US rapper Cardi B arrives for the Recording Academy and Clive Davis pre-Grammy gala at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California on January 25, 2020. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP)

Cardi B is seen on October 10, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images)

Cardi B is seen on September 30, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images)

American rapper Cardi B is seen wearing grey skirt, blazer, black bag, heels, sunglasses outside Thom Browne during Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring Summer 2020 on September 29, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Christian Vierig/GC Images)

Cardi B attends Rihanna's 5th Annual Diamond Ball Benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on September 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Diamond Ball)

Cardi B presents an award onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

Cardi B pose at the Photo Call For STX Entertainment's "Hustlers" at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on August 25, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Cardi B accepts Album of the Year onstage at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Cardi B attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Tachman/MG19/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)

Cardi B poses with the awards for Top Rap Song 'I Like It,' Top Hot 100 Song for 'Girls Like You,' and Top Rap Female Artist in the press room during the 2019 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 01, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Cardi B, winner of Best Rap Album for 'Invasion of Privacy,' and Offset pose backstage during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Cardi B attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Cardi B attends Day 3 of Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest at State Farm Arena on February 2, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

Rapper Cardi B performs during the 2019 Adult Video News Awards at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on January 26, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Cardi B attends the Fashion Nova x Cardi B collaboration launch event at Boulevard3 on November 14, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Tullberg/WireImage)

Cardi B attends the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Cardi B attends the 2018 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on October 9, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Cardi B attends as Harper's BAZAAR Celebrates "ICONS By Carine Roitfeld" at the Plaza Hotel on September 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Harper's Bazaar)

Cardi B attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Cardi B attends Birthday Bash 2018 at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood on June 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.(photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage)

Cardi B attends the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter)

Cardi B performs at E11EVEN MIAMI on April 7, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for E11EVEN MIAM

Cardi B attends the Marc Jacobs Fall 2018 Show at Park Avenue Armory on February 14, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs)

Recording artist Cardi B attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

Cardi B arrives at the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala on January 27, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images)

Cardi B performs onstage during Calibash Los Angeles 2018 at Staples Center on January 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Cardi B at Eden Roc Hotel on December 7, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams/WireImage)

Cardi B attends the Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2017 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on October 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic)

Cardi B attends Rihanna's 3rd Annual Diamond Ball Benefitting The Clara Lionel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on September 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Foundation)

Cardi B attends NYLON's Rebel Fashion Party, powered by Land Rover, at Gramercy Terrace at Gramercy Park Hotel on September 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Rapper Cardi B attends the Fenty Puma by Rihanna show during New York Fashion Week at the 69th Regiment Armory on September 10, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

Cardi B attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Recording artist Cardi B arrives on T-Mobile's magenta carpet duirng the Showtime, WME IME and Mayweather Promotions VIP Pre-Fight Party for Mayweather vs. McGregor at T-Mobile Arena on August 26, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Showtime)

Cardi B Performs at Streetz Fest 2K17 at Lakewood Amphitheatre on August 19, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Prince Williams/WireImage)

Cardi B at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images)

Cardi B poses during night three of BETX Live!, sponsored by Coca-Cola, during the 2017 BET Experience at LA Live on June 24, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

Cardi B attends the Tanduay Rum partnership with Barclays Center and the Brooklyn Nets celebration on March 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tanduay Rum)

Cardi B seen out in Manhattan on February 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)

Musical artist Cardi B attends the Philipp Plein Fall/Winter 2017/2018 Women's And Men's Fashion Show at The New York Public Library on February 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Philipp Klein)

Cardi B is seen attending Gypsy Sport during New York Fashion Week wearing a white fur coat with Gypsy Sport dress on February 12, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images)

Actress Cardi B attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)

Recording artist Cardi B attends VH1's "America's Next Top Model" premiere at Vandal on December 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

Cardi B attends the BET Hip Hop Awards 2016 Green Carpet at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on September 17, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images for BET)

Cardi B attends Laquan Smith Presentation September 2016 during New York Fashion Week on September 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Cardi B attends From Blitz To Hits 6th Anniversary Celebration at Stage 48 on August 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)

Cardi B attends the VH1 Hip Hop Honors: All Hail The Queens at David Geffen Hall on July 11, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for VH1)

Rapper Cardi B visits Music Choice on April 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Cardi B attends The Blonds show during Spring 2016 MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on September 16, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic)

TV personality Cardi B attends Bronner Brothers International Beauty Show at Georgia World Congress Center on February 20, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)