Cardi B’s Response to Backlash: Why She Referred to Met Gala Dress Designer as ‘Asian’ Explained

Cardi B is speaking out in response to criticisms she received for not remembering the name of Sensen Lii. Lii is the Chinese fashion designer behind the striking black tulle outfit that Cardi B wore to the 2024 Met Gala, which took place on the evening of May 6.

During an interview on the red carpet with Emma Chamberlain for Vogue, Cardi was momentarily unsure and couldn’t recall the name of the designer behind his ensemble. He described the designer by saying, “They’re Asian and everything.”

Cardi faced a wave of online criticism after her comments were perceived as racially insensitive. Vogue’s previous managing director, Gilbert Cheah, also took to an Instagram comment to highlight, “Just to set the record straight and to clarify, no credit to Cardi B, the designer behind her dress is Sensen Lii, who is of Chinese descent. The creation of the gown spanned two months. I find it lacking and off-the-cuff, yet it was her choice, and at the very least, she should have acknowledged his name rather than merely referring to him as ‘Asian’.”

Cardi responded on Instagram, explaining that she was overwhelmed and frightened as she was hurried to the front at the Met Gala, which led her to momentarily forget how to say the designer’s name. “His name is quite complex, and I was just overwhelmed,” she shared.

Cardi mentioned that she didn’t intend to offend, explaining, “I believe that my stylist and the designer invested a lot of effort into this theme. So, if you’re throwing shade because you felt upset or something, it only highlights why you’re no longer the director. Your attempts to target me end up disrespecting the hardworking team backstage.”

At the 2024 Met Gala, the 31-year-old rapper referenced Sensen Lii of Windowsen, the creative mind behind her stunning black dress, simply as “Asian and everything” rather than by his proper name during a Vogue interview. Later, she took to Instagram to provide clarification on her comment.

The Grammy-winning rapper admitted in the now-deleted post that TMZ highlighted, “Initially, stepping onto the red carpet filled me with tremendous fear.”

The outfit was meant to be displayed on a small platform, and I had been practicing my poses for it. However, during the event on the carpet, using the platform was not permitted. This left many thoughts in my head and I found myself hurried to the front. The rapper mentioned that she “forgot [how] to say the designer’s name because it’s somewhat complex.”

“I was thinking, ‘Wow.’ How do I say his name correctly? My thoughts were all over the place,” she remarked. She noted her intention not to be disrespectful, clarifying that she opted to say, “‘Asian designer’ because I was aware the designer had Asian roots, though I wasn’t certain of the exact nationality.”

Billboard reports that Cardi faced criticism from Vogue’s former managing director, Gilbert Cheah, who publicly criticized her through comments on an Instagram Reel featuring her at the event.

Without mentioning Cardi B’s contribution, Cheah implied that Sensen Lii, a Chinese designer, was the one who made her dress. The construction of the gown spanned over two months. Cheah, who has Peranakan (a blend of Chinese and Malay/Indonesian) origins, expressed a lackluster opinion of the gown, deeming it dull and off-the-mess. Nonetheless, he noted that Cardi B favored it, though he felt she could have at least memorized Lii’s name instead of merely referring to him as ‘Asian’ according to reports.

In her recent post, the musician commented on the negative reactions she’s received, stating, “Your aim might be to upset me, but it’s the hard crew behind the scenes who are getting hurt.”

Cardi also conveyed her opinion on the matter by subsequently uploading a video where she showcased the outfit on both X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram. “I need to extend another thank you to Windowsen by Sensen Lii!!! I picked you for your incredible skills, and you truly made this Met Gala unforgettable,” she expressed in her post.

Windowsen posted the same video on their Instagram, complete with a caption that shed light on the dress’s creative spark.

The caption explains that varied, beautiful flowers flourish in the extensive and fertile area recognized for its deep black soil, which is ideal for planting both crops and flowers. Notably, a distinctive black rose sprouts from this rich earth. Moreover, the caption mentions that the garment incorporates almost 3000 meters of organza, representing the immense expanses of the land.

Frequently asked questions

Is Cardi B at the Met Gala 2024?

At the 2024 Met Gala, Cardi B brought mounds of title and Gothic glamour. Whatever the occasion, you can always rely on Cardi B to turn heads on the red carpet. However, the rapper at tonight’s 2024 Met Gala put on her greatest fashion show.

When was the 2024 Met Gala?

Last night, on Monday, May 6, in New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted the 2024 Met Gala. It commemorated “Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion,” a new exhibition at the Costume Institute.

Who designed Cardi B’s Met dress?

“For the record and recognition—and without any gratitude to Cardi B—Sensen Lii, a Chinese designer, created her gown. Making the garment took me two months.