There is no denying that Cardi B is a cultural institution—her most recent song, "WAP" with Megan Thee Stallion, managed to make waves last month amid a news-heavy summer (to put it lightly). Now, she's taking her rightful place overlooking the city of Paris in Balenciaga's fall campaign, which just happens to be hung on the exterior of The Musée du Louvre.
Cardi has shown her love for the French brand helmed by Demna Gvasalia in the past, rapping in her 2018 song "I Like It: "I like stunting, I like shining / I like million dollar deals / Where's my pen? Bitch I'm signin' / I like those Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks." Now, Balenciaga is showing her love right back.
The brand cast some of the Balenciaga creative team, including friends of the brand, stylists and designers, but it was the first time since Gvasalia took the helm that it enlisted a celebrity for a campaign—including Cardi B and artist Eliza Douglas. The images are all self-shot, wearing the new collection in spaces the cast were quarantining during late spring, far away from fashion studios and sets—displaying a realism that loses the glossy production hallmarks that come from a traditional campaign.
There are models amid backyard foliage and stuffed animals, on couches, bicycles, treadmills, and paper-strewn beds—all the spaces familiar to so many who stayed home for so many months.
For Cardi's billboard shot, her first high-fashion advertisement, she's dressed in a slinky black gown and lying on a lawn in front of a playground slide with children's toys surrounding her—the idealized modern work-from-home mom gone high fashion. Your sweatpants could never.
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