Kanye West promotes ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts
The drama kicked off on Monday when Kanye wore a ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt to his surprise Yeezy fashion show during Paris Fashion Week, where he appeared alongside controversial political commentator Candace Owens.
He also sent Black models down the runway wearing the same design, which appeared to mock the historic Black Lives Matter movement in the US.
The move sparked outrage from celebrities and notable figures in the fashion world, but Kanye doubled down on social media.
“Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam now it’s over you’re welcome,” he wrote on his Instagram Story on Tuesday.
WATCH: Black Lives Matter rally in Melbourne
Kanye West attacks Vogue editor
Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, a Black woman, was at the Yeezy show and shared her thoughts on the “indefensible” designs on social media during and after the show.
“I guess I get what he tried to do– he thought it was duchampian. It wasn’t… It didn’t land and it was deeply offensive, violent and dangerous,” she wrote in an Instagram story after “collecting her thoughts”.
“He was trying to illustrate a dystopian world in the future when whiteness might become extinct or at least would be in enough danger to demand defence.”
She continued in another statement: “There is no excuse, there is no art here. I’m sorry I failed to make that clear—I thought I did.
“I do think if you asked Kanye, he’d say there was art, and revolution, and all of the things in that t-shirt. There isn’t.”
Though many fashion critics agreed with her, Kanye was quick to attack Karefa-Johnson on Instagram, where he shared a photo of her with a caption attacking her sense of style.
“This is not a fashion person. You speak on Ye Ima speak on you Ask Trevor Noah.” He wrote. The rapper has also attacked late-night host Noah online in the past.
He also shared a post which read “WHEN I SAID WAR I MEANT WAR”. Both have since been deleted.
Celebrities hit back
Gigi Hadid was joined by other stars who lashed out at Kanye, slamming his behaviour both at the show and in reference to Karefa-Johnson.
Gigi added a post to her story promoting the Vogue editor, captioning it “One of the most important voices in our industry and could school that disgraceful man in more ways than he knows.”
Jayden Smith was at the Yeezy show and walked out after seeing the shirts, later tweeting: “I Had To Dip Lol. I Don’t Care Whose It Is If I Don’t Feel The Message I’m Out. Black Lives Matter.”
Others stepped in to defend Karefa-Johnson, including Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski, who reshared an Instagram post in support of the Vogue editor.
Vogue releases a statement
On Wednesday, Vogue released a statement “standing with” their editor and recognising she had been “personally targeted and bullied”.
“It is unacceptable. Now more than ever voices like hers are needed,” the fashion icon said in a statement on social media.
“In a private meeting with Ye today, she once again spoke her truth in a way she felt best, on her terms.”
Kanye also wrote about the meeting on his Instagram account, where he claimed Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour had Australian director Baz Luhrman film the meeting.
He said he met with Karefa-Johnson for two hours then went to dinner with her, where they supposedly took photos together but he was “instructed not to post them”.