Kanye West certainly knows how to cause a stir. On Monday, the 45-year-old rapper presented his YZY SZN 9 collection in Paris wearing a black shirt with the slogan "White Lives Matter." The front of the shirt featured the Pope's face.
Several models in the presentation wore various versions of the same design, according to videos posted on social media. Conservative pundit Candace Owens attended the surprise show and wore the same shirt, but in white.
The Anti-Defamation League declared "White Lives Matter," or WLM, a hate slogan. The phrase has been adopted by white supremacist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
West and Kim Kardashian's daughter North, 9, participated in the show, but do not appear to be wearing the shirt.
West gave a speech before the presentation, declaring, "You can't manage me. This is an unmanageable situation."
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) October 3, 2022
"I am Ye and everyone here knows I am the leader," he said at another point. It doesn't appear that he directly addressed the WLM slogan.
— Photos Of Ye (@PhotosOfKanye) October 3, 2022
Vogue interviewed West ahead of the surprise show and Kardashian's ex-husband had plenty to say about his role in the fashion world.
"You know, specifically in this fashion context, I see myself more as a George Lucas than a fashion designer," he explained. "There's just people. From the same planet. And sometimes, in high school, it feels like we don't fit in. And in a situation like this, we have the opportunity to come together to express who we are."
West, who legally changed his name to Ye, is no stranger to controversial takes. In 2018, the Grammy-winning musician infamously called slavery a choice. West was a vocal supporter of former president Donald Trump. Last year, the rapper told fans "I've still got a red hat on today," referring to Trump's signature red "Make America Great Again" cap.
"I might not got it on [at the moment], but I'll let y'all know where I stand," West said on Revolt TV's Drink Champs podcast in November.
"Kanye" has been trending on Monday after images of the WLM shirts went viral, with many people upset over the stunt.
This is all that needs to be said in regards to Kanye West and his White Lives Matter shirt. pic.twitter.com/v2ykdgT4WN
— _Joesy_ 🧚🏾♀️ (@015Serenity) October 3, 2022
Kanye west making Black models wear “ white lives matter” shirts is a culmination of his anti blackness and his immersion in white supremacy ideologies and methods. Disgusting pic.twitter.com/yIaVKPYEBB
— ꧁༺ӄɛɛք ȶʀɨɢɢɛʀɨռɢ ʀǟƈɨֆȶֆ ʍɛɢɦǟռ༻꧂ (@Blu_Alexia_) October 3, 2022
So many folks are trying to excuse Kanye wearing a white lives matter t-shirt as just a troll move or marketing. Maybe it is. But it’s a dangerously dumb message to send for someone with his massive platform. I been off dude. But y’all go ahead labeling his foolishness as genius.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 3, 2022
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