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Kanye West sports 'White Lives Matter' shirt at his fashion show – Insider

Kanye West was seen wearing a shirt with the words “White Lives Matter” splashed across its back at his YZYSZN9 fashion show.
Videos show West wearing the shirt while giving a speech during his brand’s show at Paris Fashion Week on Monday. The fashion show showcased his Season 9 collection.
The shirt appeared to be a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the phrase has deeply racist connotations and has been used as a slogan by white supremacist groups like the Texas-based Aryan Renaissance Society.
Kanye West wears a “White Lives Matter” shirt at his Yeezy fashion show in Paris. pic.twitter.com/4zwc0bkvN6
During his mid-fashion show speech, West introduced himself to the audience with his new name, declaring: “I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader.”
“I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader” #YZYSZN9 pic.twitter.com/MTo4lPT22L
West spoke at length during his speech about how people felt they “have the right” to go up to him and call him “crazy.”
West’s shirt wasn’t the only controversial part of the evening. At one point, he called out LVMH chief executive officer Bernard Arnault.
“You can’t manage me. This is an unmanageable situation. You can’t turn the music lower,” West said, though it wasn’t clear who he was referring to.
“I’m gonna tell you, like I said, but I’m gonna make it clear to you guys. Bernard Arnault is my new Drake,” West added, referencing his tense relationship with Drake.
Ye, speaking before his #YZYSZN9 show and calling out LVMH’s Bernard Arnault pic.twitter.com/yn6AL9lh1E
A video taken at the event by New York Times fashion director Vanessa Friedman also showed a model in West’s show wearing a similar piece of clothing.
“White Lives Matter” #YZYSZN9. The Pope is on the front. pic.twitter.com/kVJRqeOUhV
The stunt did not appear to land well on social media, with some people calling West out on Twitter and Instagram.
In an Instagram post, podcaster and media personality Van Lathan Jr. explained why he was offended by West’s shirt.
“The notion that it ALWAYS has to be about white people in America is incredibly frustrating, emotionally draining, and the whole problem. But here’s Kanye, apparently centering that notion,” Lathan wrote.
This is not the first time West has made a political statement with his fashion choices. In 2018, he wore a MAGA hat — a clothing item often sported by supporters of former President Donald Trump — to the White House. West said putting on the MAGA hat made him feel like Superman, and that he supports Trump because they both have “dragon energy.”
This week, West also made a splash at his runway debut, opening Balenciaga’s SS23 show while striding down a mud-caked runway.
#KanyeWest opens #Balenciaga today at #PFW on a mud runway. https://t.co/Iye7975xUd? pic.twitter.com/5kEnNaBT9b
Representatives for West and Arnault did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
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