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Kanye West’s new line of Yeezy hit the catwalk at Paris Fashion Week yesterday, showcasing a controversial T-shirt with the slogan ‘White Lives Matter’ printed on it.
Written in bold on the back of his long sleeve top, the slogan was also worn by US conservative commentator Candace Owens.
The front of the top is an image of Pope John Paul II with the words “Seguiremos Tu Ejemplo”, which translate in English to “We Will Follow Your Example.”
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Rolling Stone reports that “White Lives Matter” is seen to be Anti-Defamation League and a “hate slogan” which is used by white supremacist groups including the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Renaissance Society.
The fashion show was streamed on YouTube and had Naomi Campbell walking the runway, as well as Lauryn Hill’s daughter/Bob Marley’s granddaughter, Selah Marley wearing the ‘White Lives Matter’ top.
The show also had Kanye’s new track with James Blake as part of the soundtrack.
In an interview with Vogue, West explained the concept behind his new collection: “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.”
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People have responded saying: “Kanye West decision to wear a “White Lives Matter” shirt is disgusting, dangerous, and irresponsible. Some of y’all will rush to defend him. You should ask yourselves why…”
Others have said: “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”.
Rapper, Jaden Smith, who was at the show tweeted: “I Had To Dip” adding “I Don’t Care Who’s It Is If I Don’t Feel The Message I’m Out.” He then went on to tweet: “Black Lives Matter”.
Boosie Badazz was also at the show and tweeted: “AFTER ALL WE BEEN THROUGH AS A RACE YOU PUT THIS DISRESPECTFUL SHIT ON. U GIVES NO FUCKS ABOUT HOW BLACKS HAVE DIED N SUFFERED TO THE HANDS OF THE WHITE MAN. N U SAY BUSH DONT LIKE BLACK PEOPLE.. REALLY ‘N****’.”
This is not the first time Kanye has made a controversial political statement. In 2018, Kanye would regularly wear a red “Make America Great Again” hat in support of former President Donald J. Trump and told TMZ Live, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years—for 400 years?—that sound like a choice,”.
See Kanye and Candace Owens in the tops below.
Becky Buckle is Mixmag’s Video and Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter
Written by: Tim Hopkins