Kanye West doubles down on White Lives Matter slogan controversy with Instagram spree
PARIS – American rapper-designer Kanye West has doubled down on his controversial White Lives Matter slogan, which he sent down the runway on apparel in a surprise Yeezy show at Paris Fashion Week on Monday.
The backlash that followed was swift and ferocious, but the 45-year-old, who changed his name legally to Ye, continued to defend himself in an Instagram spree, often typing in all caps and launching personal attacks on his critics.
In one of the posts following the show, which was presented at a secret location to a handful of guests including Vogue’s editor-in-chief Anna Wintour and Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia, he shared a photo of a black sweatshirt with the words “White lives matter” emblazoned on it.
“Here’s my latest response when people ask me why I made a tee that says ‘White lives matter’… they do,” he wrote.
The slogan is controversial as it is seen as a repudiation of the Black Lives Matter movement.
He also posted a photo of American model Bella Hadid, 25, who had been spray-painted into a white latex dress for Coperni’s show last week at Paris Fashion Week, and added the slogan to it.
He said in the caption: “Oh and I did a T-shirt dress too. Good artists borrow, great artists steal. I’m the Louvre.”
Hadid’s older sister, model Gigi Hadid, 27, had been one of the vocal defenders of Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, 30, who wrote on Instagram that Ye’s White Lives Matter designs were downright “irresponsible and dangerous”.
Karefa-Johnson then came under attack from Ye and later met him in private for a chat.
Others who called out Ye include American model Hailey Bieber, 25, Hollywood star Will Smith’s son Jaden Smith, 24, and Ye’s former sister-in-law Khloe Kardashian, 38. However, Ye won the support of American author Candace Owens as well as rapper Diddy.
In a lengthy post on Thursday, Ye launched into another verbal attack, trolling singers John Legend, 43, and Justin Bieber, 28, who is married to Hailey Bieber.
He trashed Karefa-Johnson’s boots and implied that Legend wanted a pair. Legend and Ye used to be friends until they fell out over politics.
Ye ended his tirade with a taunt: “Justin, get your girl before I get mad.”