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Kanye West debuts ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt at surprise Paris Fashion Week show

South China Morning Post logo South China Morning Post 4/10/2022 Vincenzo La Torre
  • Kanye West held a surprise fashion show to debut his new collection, Yzyszn9. One of the items was a long-sleeved shirt with 'White Lives Matter' on the back
  • This is not the first time West has caused controversy with his clothing. In 2018, he wore a Maga hat to visit then US president Donald Trump at the White House

After recently severing ties between apparel giants Adidas and Gap and his Yeezy sneaker line, controversial US rapper Kanye West held a surprise fashion show during Paris Fashion Week to debut his new collection, named Yzyszn9.

The show, held in a secret location, featured a performance by his daughter North and a children's chorus and had a very limited guest list.

Vogue's editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, designer Demna Gvasalia of Balenciaga, who now goes by just Demna, and designer John Galliano of Maison Margiela were among the select few who watched as models such as Naomi Campbell showcased the collection.

Among the pieces on display was a long-sleeved T-shirt featuring the likeness of the late Pope John Paul II on the front and the phrase "White Lives Matter" printed on the back.

West himself also wore the T-shirt while giving a speech before the show, igniting a social media storm.

The slogan is a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement that erupted in the US in the summer of 2020 after the killing of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white policeman in Minneapolis in state of Minnesota.

West himself also wore the T-shirt while giving a speech before the show. © Provided by South China Morning Post West himself also wore the T-shirt while giving a speech before the show. Just the day before his show, West opened the Balenciaga spring/summer 2023 show. © Provided by South China Morning Post Just the day before his show, West opened the Balenciaga spring/summer 2023 show.

This is not the first time West has made controversial political statements through his clothing. Clad in a Maga hat, he famously paid a visit to then US president Donald Trump at the White House in 2018. Maga stands for "Make America Great Again" and is a slogan adopted by Trump and his supporters.

The same year, he suggested that African-American slavery was a choice in an interview with celebrity website TMZ.

It has been a busy few weeks for West who, just the day before his show, opened the Balenciaga spring/summer 2023 show in a menacing, military-style outfit emblazoned with a Security tag. He also attended the Burberry spring/summer 2023 show in London before jetting off to Paris.

This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

Copyright (c) 2022. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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