'Vogue's Gabriella Karefa-Johnson Breaks Silence on Kanye West 'White Lives Matter' Drama

Gabriella Karefa-Johnson
Taylor Hill/WireImage

The 'Vogue' editor expressed her appreciation for the support after the rapper slammed her opinions on his controversial new line.

Gabriella Karefa-Johnson is speaking out after becoming a target of Kanye "Ye" West for criticizing his YZY SZN 9 runway show.

Karefa-Johnson called out West for including "White Lives Matter" branded apparel in his fashion show in Paris, saying, "the t-shirts this man conceived, produced, and shared with the world are pure violence," noting that sending the shirts down the runway was "incredibly irresponsible and dangerous" and adding that "there is no excuse, there is no art here."

The design first appeared on West himself as he addressed attendees at the YZY show on Monday. As the show progressed, several models were also seen wearing the shirt, the front of which features an image of Pope John Paul II. 

The rapper  -- who was joined at the show by rightwing pundit Candace Owens, who also wore the controversial statement on her shirt --  responded by criticizing Karefa-Johnson's own style in a since-deleted post, which drew the ire of many celebs who came to her defense.

On Oct. 5, the Vogue contributing editor took to her Instagram Stories to share her appreciation for those who came to her defense and supported her amid the drama with West.

"Today literally said 'Hiiiii-yah!' *roundhouse kick to the face, very Mortal Kombat," she wrote. "Your girl has been through it! I'm exhausted, but I am so moved by and grateful for the outpouring of love I've received (here and elsewhere) over the last 24 hours. I feel so blessed to belong to a community that would show up for me like this." 

The fashion editor noted she'll continue to use her voice. "One thing about me: I will always speak my mind, and always try to honor my truth," she shared. "My thoughts are my own, and I stand by them. Thank you all for supporting me in that."

Gabriella Karefa-Johnson/Instagram Stories

In a post shared to Instagram on Tuesday, West claimed that he met with Karefa-Johnson for a discussion about their political disagreements that was filmed by Elvis director Baz Luhrmann, at the behest of Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour.

According to West, he felt that Karefa-Johnson had been instructed by Vogue to criticize him -- a similar claim to one he made about Daily Show host Trevor Noah. However, Karefa-Johnson allegedly stressed that her critiques were her own.

Earlier on Tuesday, Vogue spoke out about the "bullying" their editor received from West, and confirmed that the meeting West posted about did, in fact, occur.

"Vogue stands with Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, our global fashion editor at large and longtime contributor. She was personally targeted and bullied. It is unacceptable," the publication shared in a statement posted to Instagram. "Now more than ever, voices like hers are needed and in a private meeting with Ye today she once again spoke her truth in a way she felt best, on her terms."

Per the Anti-Defamation League, the phrase "White Lives Matter" is considered a "hate slogan," crafted by White supremacists in 2015 to co-opt the "Black Lives Matter" movement -- used by Black people protesting police brutality -- and reframe it. The movement and the intention behind the BLM phrase stand on their own apart from groups and organizations carrying the name.

West's relationship with race has long made headlines, with the father of four -- a champion of former President Donald Trump's MAGA campaign -- at one point supporting the Black Lives Matter movement just two years after claiming slavery was a "choice" during an explosive interview with TMZ.