On Tuesday, Cardi B nonchalantly announced her Balenciaga campaign and the first released billboard to match. The fact that the beloved brand’s first celebrity campaign in years is propped up in fashion’s epicenter at the start of this Fall’s fashion month is not to be taken lightly. Fittingly enough, a massive print of Belcalis just anywhere in Paris doesn’t suffice—she’s on the side of The Louvre, honey.
“I remember how I felt seeing myself on a billboard in NYC Times Square but PARIS!” she wrote on her IG announcement, “Wish I was there to see it in person!”
This makes an already iconic moment all the more special for the “WAP” singer, who’s currently riding out the pandemic in the U.S. with family. The billboard places a silk-bathed Cardi atop lush too-perfect-to-be-real greenery and lemon-toned water props and brown dolls.
Three years into Cardi’s rise and five years into Balenciaga Creative Director Demna Gvasalia’s tenure, this marks a first for them both. The first time being the face of a major fashion house for the former and the first time putting a celebrity on a campaign for the latter. Gvalsalia, co-founder and former head designer of Vetements, has typically stayed away from the known face in campaigns and instead opted for a more everyday folk approach—and it’s worked. Annual sales have reportedly more than doubled (to $1 billion) since the 39-year-old joined the French fashion house, according to The Cut.
“The new Balenciaga women, the women who wear the clothes, are my celebrities,” Gvalsalia told i-D in 2016 in defense of his lack of stars on or off the runway. It turns out, Cardi B is one of those women.