In 2018, Cardi B is the artist to watch. From becoming the first woman with five simultaneous Top 10 hits on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart to her standout fashion looks and beyond, it is undeniably the Bronx’s rapper’s time to shine.
Now, the first time Grammy-nominee and her stylist Kollin Carter are ready to dominate the 60th annual award show’s red carpet. For this year’s festivities, the duo recruited Syrian designer Ashi, whose couture garments have been worn by countless A-listers in the past, including Lady Gaga, Celine Dion, Demi Lovato, Fergie and Ava DuVernay.
The 25-year-old will rock three custom-fit Ashi Studio looks between Clive Davis’ annual Pre-Grammy Gala, the official ceremony’s red carpet moment and inside the actual event. Billboard Style got the scoop on what went into completing Cardi’s pieces — straight from her exclusive designer for Grammy weekend himself. Check it out below.
So what was your inspiration for designing Cardi’s pieces?
She asked for a memorable red carpet moment, and I was delighted to fulfill her wish by designing a big fashionable statement gown. I was inspired by her outspoken, comedian-by-heart character. She has a sense for fashion and is not afraid to experiment, and her fierce personality and self-confidence are definitely her fortes.
Do you have a favorite piece that she’ll be wearing?
This is like asking a parent “Who’s your favorite child?” Each piece is different and beautiful in its own way, whether it be a simple, feminine, body-hugging silhouette or a voluminous structure.
Totally understand! We imagine as a designer you feel connected to each piece in some way or another. How long did design and then construction of the pieces take from start to finish?
The main dress took approximately two to three weeks, a total of 150 hours, and six main couture seamstresses working on it.
Wow! So is there anything different about your creative process working with an artist like Cardi vs. other artists you design special pieces for?
Our esthetic is couture with a modern twist, and Cardi B definitely has the edge and personality to wear such avant-garde designs, which we kept in mind.
Is there anything particularly special about any of Cardi’s pieces that you’re excited about?
Each piece is very different and portrays the different sides of a woman: the bold, the sensual and the dramatic. I guess you can say that all of them are special because together, they make up the main components of a woman’s essence.
What do you think Cardi will bring to your designs?
I’m happy that she and Kollin approached me and chose to wear my designs, and I definitely think that she will bring a certain sense of originality and character to each piece.
Is there anything you like about designing pieces for an event like the Grammys specifically?
The Grammy red carpet allows more room to be creative and theatrical and dramatic and to really make a fashion statement.