Kanye West wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt on Monday during Yeezy’s Paris Fashion Week runway show. And so did her conservative friend Candace Owens.
Ye’s long-sleeved black T-shirt with bold white lettering on the back immediately served a purpose: getting outlets to write about Ye’s presentation. But when Long sleeve white version from Owens joined the mix, with the same message represented in black, the story became more complex.
Each shirt bore the image of a pope. Owens had Pope John Paul I, whose 33-day Vatican tenure was among the shortest in history, while Ye showed Pope John Paul II, the long-serving pontiff who died in 2005 and was canonized as a saint in 2014.
Both shirts had the words “Juan Pablo” on the bottom – Ye’s also had an “II” – and above, the Spanish words “We will follow your example“: “We will follow your example.”
And people on social media had thoughts, from tweets about what the duo looked like”free living rent in a bunch of leftist heads right now” to comments about how they were “being supportive out of ignorance” and “You don’t have to be white stand for white supremacy and anti-blackness.” On Twitter, there were far more comments in line with the latter comments than the former, with the ratio running in the other direction on Truth Social.
“Seeing Ye and Candace in that shirt hurts my soul. Whatever nuance she had as part of her fashion show pales in comparison to seeing someone who is politically destructive and reprehensible standing there with Ye, emblazoned with that phrase “, the “Watching the Throne” podcast account. he tweetedreminding people that there was also a fashion show.
According to reports, only 50 people were invited to watch the presentation of Yeezy Season 9, also known as YZY SZN 9, but anyone who wanted to could tune in to the live stream on the website yzyszn9.com. Now the site shows only a patch of digital snow.
Also invited? Countless young members of the Donda Academy Gospel Choir. Yes, the kids who went viral for singing that “Good Morning Donda” song.
Notably, the “White Lives Matter” visual came a day after West’s modeling debut. The rapper and entrepreneur took his turn on the Balenciaga runway in Paris on Sunday, armed with an all-black outfit, an oversized cargo jacket and oversized pants.
“Too much Roblox already,” one commenter wrote on Ye’s TikTok post from the show.
The rapper’s bold, focused steps on the track — through a kind of darkened moonscape scene, no less — drew more attention.
“You guys are on a mission,” wrote one commenter on TikTok.
“Like I left the store as a kid while hiding candy in my pocket,” said another.
But at least someone was paying attention to fashion.
“Imagine,” they wrote, “trying to find a phone in that thing.”