Kanye West was seen wearing a black shirt with “White Lives Matter” printed on the back during a surprise Paris Fashion Week show for his Yeezy collection on Monday, October 3. The statement could be seen clearly as the rapper showed off the collection in the new photos. Models also wore outfits with the controversial statement printed on the back of them as part of the show.
Aside from the controversial shirt, Kanye, 45, also reportedly gave a speech where he spoke about his September falling out with major fashion brands like Gap and Adidas, and he also spoke about his ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s 2016 robbery in Paris, according to Page Six. “I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader,” he said. “You can’t manage me.”
Kanye West and Candace Owens wearing “White Lives Matter” shirts at his fashion show in Paris. pic.twitter.com/eJekZ8cGhe
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) October 3, 2022
Right-wing commentator Candace Owens also attended the event, and she posted photos of herself and Kanye in matching shirts, except hers was white. She tweeted out a photo of herself and the rapper with the “White Lives Matter” phrase on display.
The front side of the shirt appeared to have a photo of Pope Jon Paul II on it. Aside from the controversial shirt, Kanye also wore black pants and matching sandals, with diamonds decorating the top of them. He also sported a black baseball cap that appeared to have the year “2023” printed on the bill.
There’s no way to spin that shirt positively, even if it’s parody. It’s begging for attention.
— 𝐄𝐱𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐏𝐨𝐩𝐞 (@exavierpope) October 3, 2022
A number of fans took to Twitter to express their disapproval and disgust at Kanye wearing the controversial shirt. “Why is Kanye West wearing a White Lives Matter shirt? To get attention for his fashion show,” one fan wrote. Suit Up News host Exavier Pope similarly called out Kanye for the shirt. “There’s no way to spin that shirt positively, even if it’s parody. It’s begging for attention,” he wrote. Another tweeted that it was unsurprising given Kanye’s support for former President Donald Trump. “You lot are shocked at Kanye wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt like the man didn’t support Trump,” they wrote.
While the sweatshirt is extremely controversial, Kanye took part in Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020, when the marches were held across the nation following the murder of George Floyd. He was seen at one of the protests in Chicago, and he also donated $2 million to help the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery.
Kanye has been no stranger to making questionable political statements, including his run for president in 2020. The My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy rapper has said that he would “absolutely” run for president again in a September interview with Good Morning America. “That time wasn’t in God’s time,” he said while reflecting on his failed campaign two years ago.
Besides the fashion show, Kanye has been seen out and about in Paris for different events, like the Burberry Show, surrounding Fashion Week. He was also spotted going out to dinner with his four children during his stay in the City of Light.