For months now, the discussions of Black women and their access to Birkin bags has been one of the biggest topics and debates on social media. Cardi B and City Girls prompted the conversation as the rappers have been steadily building Birkin collections and rapping about them in hit songs. Other women in the entertainment industry such as the Saweetie and Mulatto have also followed suit by indulging in and collecting their own Birkin bags. Due to the reputations curated by media outlets and “explicit” lyrics spewed by these women, people have taken to social media to express that the Birkin’s luxurious and exclusive nature is deteriorating due to these women.
A Instagram user expressed in a recent post, “Sorry, I don’t care if this comes off as anti-black, but it is what is. Birkins have literally lost their value. The City Girls and Cardi have got y’all convinced that these Birkins are easy to get. There’s a certain number of Birkin’s that are made per year. There are BILLIONAIRES who are spending months or years on a waiting list just to get one. These bags are supposed to be exclusive. You’re supposed to be big in the fashion world and have relationships with these people to get one: that’s why Rihanna has a Birkin bag that was only made twice, with Beyoncé having the other one. A little rap duo from Miami who can’t even land a Vogue cover or a number one do not have authentic Birkin bags, sorry.”
The Instagram user was right about one thing: that was anti-black. However, it does prompt the question: why is it still an issue for well-off Black women to afford and possess Birkin bags?
This particular post was brought to Cardi B and Offset’s attention, prompting the rapper-husband to express his thoughts toward the Birkin conversation, “Stop letting people on the internet tell ya’ll who can get a Birkin at the store, and how many Birkin’s you can get. Black people having access to luxury shouldn’t be a debate…by the way, hip hop starts the trends!“
Cardi B also shared her opinion in a recent video, “Actually, we add value. When we mention brands in hip hop, the demand goes up…Hip hop, we start trends….Another question: When a Black or Hispanic girl has a bag, why do y’all question it?“
Cardi B expressed that rappers raise the value and start trends, giving examples of how “Bodak Yellow” increased sales of red bottom Christian Louboutin shoes and “I Like It” made Balenciaga shoes (the ones that look like socks) trendy and led to her partnership with them. She even described how Migos’s song “Versace” started a craze for Versace in street style. She closed the video by stating that you can have swag without wearing labels (e.i. Cardi rocking a $40 “Valencia” lime dress from JLuxLabel). Those without high profile jobs should not break themselves to own these luxury goods.
As expressed before in our “Normalizing Black Women and Luxury: Hermes Birkin Bags are Trending, What’s the Issue?” article, we should get use to and celebrate Black women who can afford to enjoy the finer things in life! White female counterparts do not get questioned about their bags and luxurious lifestyles, Black women deserve the same energy.
What do you think?