By Ryan Velez
The worlds of rap and fashion have become intertwined in recent years, with rappers both wearing their favorite brands and even shouting them out in songs. Some may go as far to make their own. Being associated with luxury and se* appeal is no stranger for Christian Louboutin and his trademark red soles. The New York Times recently caught up to Louboutin to talk to him regarding his latest shout-out, courtesy of Cardi B.
Cardi B’s breakout single, Bodak Yellow, vaulted her to No. 1 on the Billboard 100 last week, a spot she retains this week. This makes her the first solo female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill with “(Doo Wop) That Thing” in 1998. Born Belcalis Almanzar, the song peers a bit into her own life, going from stripping to reality-TV fame to her current hip-hop success. "These expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes,” she raps. “Hit the store, I can get ’em both, I don’t wanna choose.”
Cardi B’s love of Louboutin is something that has now become part of her image, ever since getting a pair from an admirer when she was a stripper. When she was preparing to perform at MoMA PS1 in New York in August, she had a suitcase with several pairs. Her label even celebrated charting no.1 with a cake shaped like a Louboutin box.
As for Louboutin himself? The French-born designer knows a bit about the rapper. “She has the hair like that?” he said, waving his hands around chin level. “She’s a rapper? This ‘Yellow’ song?” A friend showed him the video and lyrics recently, but admittedly, he doesn’t know much about the song or Cardi B. He also admitted to not being much of a “rap person.” However, he did say that should she ever come to Paris, he wouldn’t mind meeting her. This caused Louboutin to reflect a bit on his origins, as an intern at the Folies Bergère. The first shoes I ever designed were for showgirls, people on stage. Showgirls have a kind of attitude — they’re driving forces.”
To be fair, Cardi B is far from the only person to shout out his work via rap. Rappers who have mentioned the shoes include Kanye West, Drake, Future, Migos, Soulja Boy, Rae Sremmurd, Ty Dolla Sign, Iggy Azalea, Rick Ross.