Dominican-Trinidadian rapper Cardi B, 29, announced a brand-new partnership with iconic men’s magazine, Playboy, on December 3, and it marks an interesting career move for the chart-topping rapper. Cardi, who also landed a lead role in Assisted Living this year, has been named Playboy‘s first-ever creative director in residence and will now have her hand in various aspects of the Playboy operation. This includes a brand-new social content platform called CENTERFOLD, that will launch later in December, for which she will serve as the founding creative director.
“Joining the @playboy family is a dream and I know yall are going to love what we put together 😏 I’m startin this party right as the Founding Creative Director and a founding member of CENTERFOLD the new creator-led platform from Playboy coming soon!! We’re going to have soooooo much fun,” Cardi wrote on Instagram when she made the announcement, which came in the form of a photo collage.
Playboy is excited about the partnership and this will certainly bring even more attention to the publication, which announced a rebrand that’s distancing itself from the days of Hugh Hefner for a more modern approach.
“Cardi will provide artistic direction across co-branded fashion and sexual wellness merchandise collections, digital editorial, experiential activations and more.” explained a press release from Playboy, according to PEOPLE. And the morning after the announcement, it seemed Cardi was already getting to work. She posted on social media from Playboy‘s brand-new jet, which has been dubbed, “Big Bunny,” engaging her followers, and drumming up interest in the brand, by asking people to nominate their “favorite baddie,” to ride in the Playboy jet.
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt connected to Playboy. It’s truly the original platform for uncensored creativity and I’m inspired by its incredible legacy of fighting for personal freedoms. I have so many ideas already–I can’t wait!,” Cardi said in the press release.
Cardi’s sex positive attitude and confidence played a role in the reason she was chosen for the role. “Cardi B is a creative genius and we are absolutely thrilled and honored to bring her immense talent and creative vision to Playboy. Through her unapologetic commitment to free expression, her dedication to lifting up artistic voices and her celebration of sex and body positivity, Cardi is the embodiment of the Playboy brand,” Ben Kohn, Chief Executive Officer of PLBY Group, said in a statement.
Furthering Cardi’s influence on the brand, she has founded Playboy‘s upcoming social content platform CENTERFOLD, which has been designed to compete against OnlyFans. “I’m also excited to launch our new creator-led platform, CENTERFOLD. Creators today deserve to express themselves freely and unfiltered. They deserve to feel safe in their creativity and sexuality. And they deserve to own their future. This is what CENTERFOLD is all about,” Cardi said in a statement. “For all those creators out there doing bold, revolutionary, truly culture-shifting things, come join me.”
The partnership will also help to further establish Cardi B as a businesswoman, and it’s also likely to help bring some fresh energy and interest to the nearly 70-year-old Playboy brand. With the rebranding and now this on-brand partnership, it’s another sign of progress as they’ve been actively trying to stay relevant and in touch with their current readers.
“We’re doing an evolution. Around this time last year, we did a ton of soul searching to kind of figure out, ‘OK, who are we? Who do we want to be moving into the future? How does this brand have an impact today, and what is our purpose in the world?’” Anna Ondaatje, vp of brand and marketing at Playboy Enterprises, told Digiday in 2019. They noted a cultural shift where the sexual imagery dictated by the male gaze that pervaded their work over the years as now outdated.
“There’s a ton of conversation around sex positivity, and there’s a conversation around sexuality, gender fluidity, exploration of pleasure, and what’s the role of pleasure in a world today where we’re increasingly kind of tied to our to-do list?” says Ondaatje. They chose to focus on “re-embracing these ideals of freedom of free expression, of sexuality, and appreciating pleasure without having to apologize for it.”
Feels pretty on-brand for Cardi so this will undoubtedly elevate their status and reinforce this new mission.