Cardi B’s fashion nous is well-established at this point—cemented forever in 2019, with a certain archive Mugler couture number she wore to the Grammys—and so when she gives emerging designers a nod on her 80 million follower-strong Instagram account, we listen. Her latest obsession? Ottolinger, the Berlin-based label created by Swiss designers Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient, known for its slinky, deconstructed pieces and bold, abstract prints.
Overnight, the rapper stepped out in a head-to-toe look from the brand’s spring summer ’21 collection, pairing the leggings-and-bra two-piece with zesty lime accessories from Bottega Veneta. It’s the latest in a slew of high-fashion looks—see also: archive John Galliano for Dior and new-season Balenciaga—potentially worn to hype an impending album, though details on the release have been kept vague.
If you recognise the brand’s signature aesthetic, it’s because Ottolinger have fast become a designer favourite for the Instagram A-list, with everyone from Kim Kardashian to Barbie Ferreira, SZA, and Haim giving the brand shout-outs in the last few months. Kardashian wore a brown tattoo-style sheer polo with high-waisted denim last month, while Ferreira practically broke the internet when she wore the brand’s velvet deconstructed floor-skimming dress (with matching green eyeshadow) to an otherwise low-key sushi date late last year.
Launching in 2017, Bösch and Gadient have slowly and steadily built their fanbase, hitting their stride (and the peak of their popularity) in the last 12 months, as their craft-inspired neglige-adjacent aesthetic has become undeniably on-trend (see also Nensi Dojaka and Supriya Lele). Ottolinger have also found themselves favourites among the off-duty model set, earning a loyal fanbase in Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Imaan Hammam, and Duckie Thot.
Their popularity makes sense on two levels. First, their statement-making creations are eye-catching and top heavy—making them perfect for Generation Zoom. Second, their artsy take on sex appeal is a welcome breath of fresh air into wardrobes that have been subject to 12 months of notably unartistic, un-sexy additions (read: Ugg boots and sweatpants). Is there anything that inspires us to get out of our Covid-induced sartorial funk more than Barbie enjoying a bento box in an asymmetric gown? Or seeing Cardi rock a lime green designer-laden get-up, just to strut around the house?
As far as back-to-reality wardrobes go—we’re hard-pressed to think of an outfit we’d rather be wearing when we emerge from lockdown than one crafted by the team at Ottolinger. Shop our edit of their best pieces below.