By Ryan Velez
It’s pretty difficult to turn on the radio and not hear Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow at some point during your morning commute. The song has been a breakout hit for the 25-year old rapper, with her appearing on stages from small nightclubs to the MoMa to the Puerto Rican Day Parade and beyond, and having celebrities like Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, and Taraji P. Henson shouting her out. Interestingly, not only is the song a major moneymaker for Cardi B herself, she may be making fashion moves too—unwittingly. Black Enterprise explains how.
According to a recent Business of Fashion report, Belcalis “Cardi B” Almanzar has created an estimated $4.5 million media value this year for the Christian Louboutin shoe brand since Bodak Yellow’s release during the summer. The brand has also seen a 217% spike in web searches since then. Cardi B references the “red-bottom” “bloody shoes,” in the song, and its popularity has led to a surprising rise in its profile as a result.
The song won the BET Hip Hop Award for Best Single of the Year last month and broke a No. 1 Billboard chart record that Lauryn Hill had held since the late 1990s. Amusingly, the creator of the shoes themselves, Christian Louboutin, had only a fleeting knowledge of the song, mentioning that he had heard it, but is “not a big rap person.” However, Louboutin graciously said that he would be open to meeting Cardi B someday should she ever find herself in Paris. With all the money and success she’s had of late, a trip could certainly be in the cards.
There’s a bit of a question about how much of this interest is exactly going to translate into shoe sales. That number may never be fully explained, but here are some statistics to ponder. , Deloitte reports that 20.5% of millennials look to social media and more than 15% to the web to get informed about a high-end item before purchasing. Also, Nielsen reported that Black women, in particular, spend more time watching live TV, listening to the radio, and using multimedia devices than the whole U.S. female population. The group is also seen as trendsetters, and are growing in numbers, income, and education.
Combined, this means that it may not be a surprise to see a lot more Louboutin shoes under the Christmas tree this holiday season, and Cardi B would be a key reason why.