Fashion Nova, the hyper-affordable online fast-fashion retailer known for featuring the internet’s most voluptuous catalogue models, is one of Cardi B’s favorites. Even as she’s become astronomically famous and accrued enormous wealth, she’s repped for the brand, a self-proclaimed “budget hoe” who appreciates its attention and fit to those of us with some thighs and butt.
Clearly, she’s got a deal thing going with them, because the video for “Bartier Cardi,” released Monday night in a blaze of Petra Collins-directed glory, features a big-ass “1-8oo-FASHION-NOVA” advert in the form of a caution-tape banner on DJ decks. It is not the most glorious moment in the entire video—I can’t figure out if the funniest scene is those boys in the sauna or the utterly disaffected manicurists—but it is the most Cardi B moment, and one that truly embodies the essence of why we love her: regular degular shmegular, as she is prone to saying, a Bronx baddie who will never fall victim to the shallow trappings of Hollywood or its equivalent. Yes, Cardi’s definitely paid ($20k a month from Fashion Nova; there’s a Lyft ad, too, while Offset and Cardi make out in the backseat—the ultimate in native advertising), and Fashion Nova owes its virality in part to her. But her repping for it is truly genuine, and I guess that’s all a consumer can ask for in a de facto spokesperson.
Of course, Fashion Nova has its issues; many users report their delivery system is spotty, they notoriously used straight size models to advertise their curvy line, and there is the more pervasive and nefarious problem with the way cheap, fast fashion is produced overall, which is to say by grossly underpaying the people who make the garments. (In 2016, sweatshops in California were found to have been producing clothing to be shipped to Fashion Nova, as well as bigger department stores like Nordstrom.) Welcome to the hell cycle of capitalism, where affordable clothing marketed to the working class is only attainable by exploiting the labor of even poorer people! Watch this great Cardi B video!!!!!