FASHION

On the Streets, Stage, or the Red Carpet, Cardi B’s Style Always Makes a Statement

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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.

2021: Paris Fashion Week Street Style
Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images

Cardi B steps out in Paris on September 30th, 2021 in a fully studded and spiked outfit from Richard Quinn, seen just weeks ago on the London catwalks.

2021: Paris Street Style
Photo by Neil Warner/MEGA/GC Image

Cardi B’s second Schiaparelli look in Paris on September 29th, 2021 was a bit more sensible. She wore a black coat over a bodysuit with a beret. Though, pay attention to her statement earrings.

2021: Paris Shopping Trip
Photo by Marc Piasecki/GC Images

Wearing a surrealist look from the house of Schiappereli complete with a golden liquid metal headpiece and breast coverings, Cardi B steps out for a simple day of shopping with husband Offset on September 29th, 2021.

2021: "Thierry Mugler : Couturissime" Museum Exhibit Opening
Photo by Richard Bord/WireImage

Cardi B wasn’t just there to support legendary designer Thierry Mugler at the opening of his "Thierry Mugler: Couturissime" exhibit in Paris, she wore an elaborate red, feathered fantasy gown straight from his ‘90s archives. Supermodel Eva Herzigova originally wore it on the runway.

2021: Mugler Party
Photo by Neil Warner/MEGA/GC Images

For the exhibit’s after-party, Cardi B turned up in yet another vintage Mugler masterpiece on September 28th, 2021. This one is a black, leather gown inspired by the exoskeleton of an insect.

2021: Street Style
Photo by Astro/MEGA/GC Images

Offset and Cardi B are seen leaving a shop on January 22, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

2020: Grammy Party
Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP

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.

2019: Street Style
Photo by MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Cardi B is seen in a two-tone suit on October 10, 2019 in New York City.

2019: Paris Fashion Week
Photo by Pierre Suu/GC Images

Cardi B ravishes in purple on September 30, 2019 in Paris, France.

2019: Paris Fashion Week
Photo by Christian Vierig/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.

2019: Diamond Ball
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Diamond Ball

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.

2019: VMAs
Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images

Cardi B presents an award onstage during the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 26, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey.

2019: Hustlers Photocall
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Cardi B wears vintage Jean Paul Gaultier 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.

2019: BET Awards
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Cardi B accepts Album of the Year onstage at the 2019 BET Awards on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

2019: Met Gala
Photo by Kevin Tachman/MG19/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

Cardi B wears Thom Browne The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City.

2019: Billboard Music Awards
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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.

2019: Grammys
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

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.

2019: Grammys
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Cardi B wears vintage Mugler at the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

2018: Fashion Nova Event
Photo by Michael Tullberg/WireImage

Cardi B attends the Fashion Nova x Cardi B collaboration launch event at Boulevard3 on November 14, 2018 in Hollywood, California.

2018: AMAs
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.

2018: AMAs
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.

2018: ICONS Ball
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Harper's Bazaar

Cardi B attends as Harper's BAZAAR Celebrates "ICONS By Carine Roitfeld" at the Plaza Hotel on September 7, 2018 in New York City.

2018: VMAs
Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Cardi B attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York City.

2018: Birthday Bash
Photo by Prince Williams/Wireimage

Cardi B attends Birthday Bash 2018 at Cellairis Amphitheatre at Lakewood on June 16, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia.

2018: Met Gala
Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter

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.

2018: Marc Jacobs Show
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Marc Jacobs

Cardi B attends the Marc Jacobs Fall 2018 Show at Park Avenue Armory on February 14, 2018 in New York City.

2018: Grammys
Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Recording artist Cardi B attends the 60th Annual GRAMMY Awards at Madison Square Garden on January 28, 2018 in New York City.

2018: Pre-Grammys Party
Photo by Steve Granitz/Getty Images

Cardi B arrives at the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala on January 27, 2018 in New York City.

2018: Calibash
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Cardi B performs onstage during Calibash Los Angeles 2018 at Staples Center on January 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

2017: Art Basel Miami Beach
Photo by Thaddaeus McAdams/WireImage

Cardi B wears a Moschino coat at Eden Roc Hotel on December 7, 2017 in Miami Beach, Florida.

2017: Diamond Ball
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Foundation

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.

2017: Nylon Party
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

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.

2017: Fenty Puma Show
Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage

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.

2017: VMAs
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Cardi B attends the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 27, 2017 in Inglewood, California.

2017: BET Awards
Photo by Maury Phillips/Getty Images

Cardi B at the 2017 BET Awards at Microsoft Square on June 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

2017: BETX Live!
Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

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.

2017: Brooklyn Nets Event
Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Tanduay Rum

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)

2017: Phillipp Plein Show
Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Philipp Plein

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.

2017: Gypsy Sport Show
Photo by Matthew Sperzel/Getty Images

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.

2017: Being Mary Jane Premiere
Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Actress Cardi B attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City.

2017: ANTM Premire
Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage

Cardi B wears Gucci at VH1's "America's Next Top Model" premiere at Vandal on December 8, 2016 in New York City

2016: BET Hip Hop Awards
Photo by Paras Griffin/BET/Getty Images for BET

Cardi B attends the BET Hip Hop Awards 2016 Green Carpet at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on September 17, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.

2016: Laquan Smith Show
Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images

Cardi B attends Laquan Smith Presentation September 2016 during New York Fashion Week on September 14, 2016 in New York City.

2016: Blitz To Hits 6th Anniversary Celebration
Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images

Cardi B attends From Blitz To Hits 6th Anniversary Celebration at Stage 48 on August 16, 2016 in New York City.

2016: VH1 Hip Hop Honors: All Hail The Queens
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for VH1

Cardi B attends the VH1 Hip Hop Honors: All Hail The Queens at David Geffen Hall on July 11, 2016 in New York City.

2016: Music Choice Studioes
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images

Rapper Cardi B visits Music Choice on April 26, 2016 in New York City.

2016: The Blonds Show
Photo by Andrew Toth/FilmMagic

Cardi B attends The Blonds show during Spring 2016 MADE Fashion Week at Milk Studios on September 16, 2015 in New York City.