Kanye “Ye” West took to the stage on Monday, October 3, during his Yeezy fashion show in Paris. Showcasing his Season 9 collection to his massive audience, the 45-year-old was seen wearing a t-shirt with the Pope’s face emblazoned on the front and "White Lives Matter" on the back.
The rapper left the internet shocked after wearing the black long-sleeved tee, and many took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the designer.
Moreover, conservative commentator Candace Owens, who was present at the show, also sported a matching t-shirt.
For those unaware, the frowned-upon phrase was adopted by neo-Nazi and white supremacists’ groups as a counter response to the Black Lives Matter movement. It parallelly came into being at the same time as the phrase All Lives Matter gained traction and was also dubbed as a “hate slogan” by the Anti-Defamation League.
As Kanye West sported the questionable t-shirt, he referred to his ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s 2016 robbery, his recent fallout with Gap, his former manager Scooter Braun and more. At one point during the show, he also said:
“I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader… You can’t manage me.”
Along with West and Owens, some models in the show were also seen wearing similar t-shirts.
Netizens react to Kanye West’s White Lives Matter t-shirt
Unsurprisingly, netizens were displeased to see Kanye West’s ensemble. Many found it disappointing to see the Black artist seemingly show support for white supremacists. Several netizens tweeted that they are finding it difficult to support the Famous rapper.
Kanye West’s debatable fashion choices explored
This is not the first time Ye has used fashion to share his political opinions. The rapper sported former President Donald Trump’s Make America Great Again baseball cap during Trump’s 2020 presidential run. He donned the hat at a 2018 Saturday Night Live performance.
In response to the growing backlash, Ye told the Wall Street Journal that he found the controversy surrounding his MAGA hat “classist.” He expressed that he felt pressurized to act a certain way since he was a Black man from Chicago. He said during his interview:
“It reminded me of how I felt as a Black guy before I was famous when I would walk in a restaurant and people would look at you like you were going to steal something. ‘This is your place, Ye, don’t talk about apparel. This is your place, Ye, you’re Black, so you’re a Democrat.’”
In 2018, West also left the Black community enraged after he told TMZ that slavery in the States “sounds like a choice.” In a 2020 interview, West also opined that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves” and they simply worked “for other white people.”
The Flashing Lights rapper has been attending fashion shows in London and Paris over the past week. He also debuted his skills in modeling by opening the Balenciaga show on Sunday.