Cardi B is far from the only celebrity to regularly indulge in Hermès Birkin bag, which by some measure, may now be a safer investment than gold. Kim Kardashian and Mohamed Hadid each have at least one novelty custom version, which respectively feature naked women and Bella Hadid’s eye. Drake has a “fairly vast” collection, which also happens to be an investment in his future wife. Understandably, many bristle at the price tags; they typically go for somewhere between $9,000 and $200,000, though one once went for $380,000 at auction. Though, official wait lists for the bag are a thing of the past, they can still be tricky to get your hands on. But somehow, it’s only Cardi B’s indulgence that seems to constitute a cardinal offense amongst trolls online.
Tellingly, the most vocal condemnation of Cardi’s collection yet begins with a disclaimer that it comes across as distinctly anti-Black. “Birkins have literally lost their value. The City Girls and Cardi have got y’all convinced that these Birkin bags are easy to get,” a screenshot that circulated over the weekend began. “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 post continued. Never mind that Cardi B, in addition to regularly scoring major fashion magazine covers, is a face of Balenciaga; her campaign currently hangs from the Louvre’s façade.
To Cardi, the post was “really interesting,” as she espoused in an Instagram video. For starters, she “definitely could get a bag. Actually, I got four bags today from the Hermès store. I don’t want to brag but it’s like, don’t even try it,” she said in a video Instagrammed on Sunday night. “Why is it that y’all asking female rappers if they can get a bag from the Hermès store? Y’all don’t do that to these white celebrities. So, why is it that y’all gotta be asking us? What the fuck?”
As for depreciating the value of Birkins, Cardi asserted the opposite is true. “Actually, we add value, because when we mention brands in hip-hop, shit go up,” she said, citing the effect her “these is expensive, these is red bottoms” lyric in “Bodak Yellow” had on sales of Christian Louboutins. In fact, it was thanks to another lyric—“I like those Balenciagas / the ones that look like socks” in “I Like It Like That”—that she was asked to be a Balenciaga face.
Cardi knows her Birkin collection is a true feat. And the notion that she or others wouldn’t only adds to the offense. “Why when a Black girl, why when a Hispanic girl have a bag you have to question it? ‘Oh is it fake?’ Or ‘she’s a scammer,’” Cardi said. “There’s a lot of boss-ass bitches out here. There’s a lot of boss-ass bitches that own they company. There’s realtors. There’s PRs, A&Rs. There’s doctors, dentists.” And that list, which “goes fucking on,” isn’t limited to just one class: “A lot of Instagram models are getting like $20,000 a fucking post.”
Cardi’s husband, Offset, later echoed her sentiments. “Black people having access to luxury shouldn’t be a debate,” he wrote on Instagram. “By the way hip hop starts the trends!”
You, unlike Cardi, may not own at least 23 Birkins. And Cardi wants you to know that’s perfectly okay. “Let me tell you something: If you’re a regular girl, you don’t gotta break your neck to have a Birkin,” she continued. “A Birkin don’t make you. A n***** don’t give a fuck if you have a Birkin or Aldo purse,” she said, shouting out those who make Fashion Nova, H&M, and Zara look “swaggy as fuck.”
In conclusion: “Don’t ever feel like you got to compare yourself. Don’t ever feel like you got to go to Canal Street and get a fake one to keep up.” And above all, remember that “this internet shit” is fake. “Everybody got this, everybody got that on the internet. I went to the club, I don’t see nobody with it,” Cardi said. “And that’s okay. Because you still a bad fucking bitch.”