Let's face it. Cardi B was the de facto queen of this New York Fashion Week. The 24-year-old Bronx-born rapper was everywhere—sitting front row at the hottest shows, slaying in VIP at the hottest parties, and even killing it on stage as she performed the hottest new music in Times Square. But as exciting as it would have been to have the larger-than-life social media personality making an appearance regardless, it was even more exciting because she seemed to fit right in. Every single look was killer.
Donning a seemingly endless supply of plush furs while alternating between short dresses, bodysuits, and fun covered-up "secretary" looks, the rapper—whose new single "Lick" is out today—looked amazing at every stop. We at PAPER Magazine couldn't help but to obsessively follow the rapper's Instagram feed, drooling as each new picture was posted. So it only makes sense that we ended up hopping on the phone to talk to her about her experience as New York Fashion Week's newest VIP. Read below to find out how she describes her personal style, why she loves her current stylist, and what she thinks about people who think that slutty clothes can't be fashionable.
You've been everywhere this NYFW. How has your experience been?
You want to know something? I actually kind of want to cry because I really love showing these designers what I can do with their clothes. I've been a very big fan of a lot of them and I never really used to get invited to these shows. Now that I've gotten invited to these shows, I really wanted to show them. It's like, listen, I can represent your clothing so well.
You've represented some of the clothing so well that Rio Uribe now cites you as a muse for his brand Gypsy Sport. How does that feel?
Gypsy Sport's fashion is very free-spirited, and for him to use me as a muse for his clothing line, that means he knows and understands my attitude, which is also very free-spirited. I'm just so happy that these clothing brands can see my personality as being relatable. On top of that, I met Gypsy Sport two years ago and those were the first people to ever invite me to a fashion show. So for me to see how we're both progressing at the same time, I just feel like we're both winning. It's just like yay! We're winning at the same time, little by little. To see how far we've both made it in two years is crazy. The press on his collection this year was so crazy—much crazier than it was two years ago. It just makes me so proud. I guess I'm his muse because we both work hard to achieve where we want to be and he sees that in me too.
Do you have any survival techniques for getting through NYFW?
Well this is my tip. Last NYFW, I missed a lot of shows because I live right across the bridge from New Jersey. This time, I actually had to rent out a hotel room in the city. I rented it out in the middle, in Chelsea, because it's very close to SoHo and it's very close to midtown. So always get a room in the middle of the city and you'll be okay. That's my survival tip.
What has been your favorite moment from NYFW?
I have so many favorite moments but I think it was performing for VFILES. I was very excited because the last collection was very Asian-styled and then for me to see how it transformed for this new collection was exciting. I just like to see how [the designers] transform. It's like, “Hmmm. I wonder what's going to come up next." LaQuan Smith's last collection was a lot of baby blue and a lot of leotards. But this time he did the black latex and I just loved that. I love how crazy the transitions were that all of the designers made since last season. Oh yeah! And I saw Anna Wintour! I saw her from afar but it was still like oh shit…I saw her. And I saw Madonna a little bit. But just a little bit.
Speaking of your VFILES performance, do you tend to dress differently when performing than when you're just making appearances? You wore a super cool Christian Cowan cutout sweat-suit when you performed at Holy Mountain.
This is the funny thing. I was going to wear a dress by The Blonds that night, which was just so crazy. But as much as I wanted to wear the dress, I couldn't. One thing that is very important to me when I perform is that I need an outfit that I can shake my ass in. I always shake my ass when I perform. And sometimes I might do a split, so I need something that I can be very flexible in—something that I can actually move in. If you see me perform, you see how I'm always giving it to them.
How would you describe your personal style?
It really depends. I want people to know that my style is very diverse. Sometimes, I want to look a little bit classy so I will cover my whole self up. I feel like you can look so sexy sometimes when you cover up. But other times I want to show a little cleavage—you know, I got big boobs! I can be very slutty with my fashion or I can be very conservative. But I don't like when I wear an outfit and I cover up completely and people say, “Oh, that outfit is hot but it's not really her." It's like, you don't know that that's not me. I like what I like. Just because I was a stripper, just because I have a voluptuous body doesn't mean that I'm not gonna wear a whole covered-up piece.
Another thing that I want to tell people about my fashion is that I like to mix it up. Sometimes I like to wear a $30 dress with a $2000 pair of shoes. Sometimes there are things that are cheap and affordable and they fit my body better than a $1000 dress. I could wear a $1000 dress but other times I could wear a $30 dress. As long as my shoes are amazing and my hair matches, nobody can tell me nothing. The most important things, to me, are your hair, your makeup, and your shoes.
Would you describe yourself as a big shoe girl then?
I'm a big shoe girl. But one thing that is also very important to me is my hair. You can wear an outfit and the whole outfit could be great with the shirt, pants, and shoes—but if your hair does not match your outfit, then it will not be good. Your hair should go with your outfit. It's very important. I'm not gonna wear a gown with braids, right? You have to keep the themes together. You're not gonna wear a red outfit with blue hair. Hair can make or break your outfit.
I know you work with Maikeeb on your styling. How would you describe that relationship?
Maikeeb is my stylist. He pulls for me. But it's really like a team because his opinion is on it, my opinion is on it, and also one of my publicist's opinion is on it. We all sometimes put an outfit together. What Maikeeb might think look good, I don't always think looks good. Or my publicist might not think it looks good. But at the end of the day, the three of us combine our tastes together and it makes sense. But Maikeeb is doing such a great job. I like him on my team.
I remember one time I hired a stylist and he was overcharging me, but he was also being very offensive. Like I bought three pairs of Giuseppe "Cruel Summer" shoes and he would just say, "Those are so tacky. Throw them away." I was like, "I just bought these shoes. Your job is to not make them look tacky. That's what you do." What I like is what I like and a stylist's job is to be on it and make it look amazing. That's what I like about Maikeeb. If I have a shirt, I can just ask him how I should wear it. That's what I need. I don't need somebody to try to judge anything because, at the end of the day, your job is to style me. If I have something, you need to make an outfit out of it.
If you had to say one specific thing about your style, what would you say?
If I had to say one thing about my style it's that I don't want people to say it's not fashionable when I have a lot of goods showing. I hate when people think that being conservative is the only way to be fashionable. It's not. Stop trying to box me in. Sometimes I'm gonna be dressed like a little slut and sometimes I'm gonna dress like a little secretary.