Linda Evangelista responds to Kanye West’s ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt: ‘Fashion made me sad’

Linda Evangelista has responded to Kanye West’s controversial appearance at Paris Fashion Week, where he wore a “White Lives Matter“ t-shirt.

The rapper and designer staged a surprise Yeezy fashion show during the annual cultural event, in which both he and a number of his models wore t-shirts with the contentious slogan emblazoned across the front.

Prior to the live-streamed show, the 45-year-old said: “I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader... You can’t manage me.”

Conservative commentator Candace Owens was also present at the showcase of West’s season nine collection, where she also wore a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt.

In response, supermodel Evangelista posted a single black square to her Instagram profile, which reads “Black Lives Matter“.

She captioned it with the words: “Black. Lives. Matter. Today, fashion made me sad.”

Elsewhere, Susie Lau – who is also known as Susie Bubble and who made her name as an influential fashion blogger – called the incident an “incendiary and violent act”.

Writing on Instagram, she said: “We also need to admit complicity in indulging someone who is a) clearly not well and b) flagrantly giving platform to messages that already taint an industry that doesn’t give black people (well, all minorities!) their fair dues, repeatedly pelting them with product and marketing ‘gaffes’, apologising (insincerely) and then moving on swiftly when it suits the brand strategy, assuming that we all collectively have short term fashion amnesia.”

Lau questioned whether West’s “impact on fashion” was “worth all this strife”.

She added: “To get to the point where we simply write off a ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt as a stunt or ‘courting controversy’. I’m sorry but that’s all too polite for such an incendiary and violent act.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “White Lives Matter” is a “white supremacist phrase that originated in early 2015 as a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement”. The phrase has also been used by supporters of former president Donald Trump.

It’s not the first time West has aroused controversy for his political views.

The “Flashing Lights” star has previously aligned himself with Trump, and worn a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) baseball hat to show his support.

And in 2018, he described 400 years of slavery as “a choice”.

In an interview with TMZ Live, he said: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years…for 400 years? That sounds like a choice.”

He later claimed that he was being “attacked for presenting new ideas”.