Kanye West stunned fans when he wore a T-shirt with the words “White Lives Matter” printed on the back during a surprise Yeezy fashion show in Paris on Monday.
The famous rapper addressed his fans in a speech while wearing the politically-charged T-shirt that also featured the face of Pope John Paul II on the front. The fashion show was a showcase of his Season 9 collection, according to Page Six.
The slogan is politically controversial. Groups such as the ADL associate it with white supremacists. Donald Trump and his supporters have been accused of condoning this kind of movement, leading the slogan to be associated with them in 2015. West has previously declared himself to be a Trump supporter, according to USA Today.
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West’s pre-fashion show speech touched on a number of hot topics including Kim Kardashian’s 2016 robbery in Paris, his issues with former manager Scooter Braun, and West’s early challenges upon entering the fashion industry, according to Page Six. West also spoke about the breakdown of his relationship with Gap, and engaged in a personal reflection speech with his audience members.
“I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader,” West said, before telling everyone that was listening that “You can’t manage me,” according to Page Six.
During his long-winded speech, West made mention of the fact that there would be several famous faces expected to grace the fashion show stage. He announced big names such as Kim Kardashian, Irina Shayk, Candice Swanepoel, Rihanna, Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Lauryn Hill, Emily Ratajkowski, Gisele Bündchen, Bella Hadid, Naomi Campbell, Amelia Gray Hamlin, and many more.
Shayk, Campbell, and Hamlin were notably the only models from the list that were visibly present at the show. Shayk remained behind the scenes, but did not strut her stuff on the runway, according to Page Six. (RELATED: Kanye West Struts His Stuff On The Runway)
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 3, 2022
Daily Wire host Candace Owens was also spotted with the rapper at the event.
West also dressed some of his models in “White Lives Matter” branded clothing, according to Page Six. Fans were quick to react to West’s bold messaging.
sending a “WHITE LIVES MATTER” t-shirt down a runway in Paris is literal insanity and no amount of gospel is getting that man through Heaven’s gate, I’m so sorry.
— roddy bicch 性交 🅴 (@hardsoh) October 3, 2022
“Sending a “WHITE LIVES MATTER” t-shirt down a runway in Paris is literal insanity and no amount of gospel is getting that man through Heaven’s gate, I’m so sorry,” one person tweeted.
mind you kanye was just calling kim and kris the kkk 2 weeks ago and now he’s wearing a white lives matter shirt
— t (@ANTlOVO) October 3, 2022
Another Twitter user with the name called out West’s supposed hypocrisy. “Mind you kanye was just calling kim and kris the kkk 2 weeks ago and now he’s wearing a white lives matter shirt,” he tweeted.