The mounting influence of celebrities in the modern world has reached its zenith at Playboy with the appointment of rapper Cardi B as its first creative director in residence.
The lifestyle and entertainment brand is gearing up for the launch of Centerfold, a creator-led platform, for which the flamboyant musician is also a founding creative director and member.
In her new role, the New Yorker will wield outsize influence on Playboy’s artistic direction, editorial stance and co-branded sexual wellness products and apparel.
Relishing the opportunities presented by her latest role, Cardi B said: “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.”
Of particular interest to the music star is the potential for Centerfold to unfetter creativity, which she believes to be held back by outdated moral codes. She said: “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. For all those creators out there doing bold, revolutionary, truly culture-shifting things, come join me.”
Ben Kohn, chief executive officer of Playboy parent the Plby Group, explained his unorthodox recruitment policy as a mechanism for furthering the Playboy brand in terms of merchandising, saying: “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. I can’t wait to see what Cardi and our team develop together with our merchandise design, development and distribution capabilities and our best-in-class content production.”
Cardi B’s elevation marks the ongoing modernization of the Playboy brand following the passing of founder Hugh Hefner at the age of 91. Previously the star put her outsize personality in the service of Reebok by imparting her inimitable style to the clothing manufacturer’s range.