MANILA, Philippines – Model Gigi Hadid sprung to fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson’s defense after the latter received a slew of insults from Kanye West, calling the American rapper a “bully” and a “joke.”
The supermodel’s tirade came after West attacked Karefa-Johnson for criticizing him over his “White Lives Matter” shirt, which he wore at the Yeezy show in Paris Fashion Week on Monday, October 3.
West immediately slammed the fashion editor, firing critiques about her fashion, and posting now-deleted pictures of her on his Instagram. The rapper also posted a screenshot of someone warning him not to insult “that writer,” who is presumed to be Karefa-Johnson.
Prior, Karefa-Johnson expressed her indignation at West’s shirts via Instagram stories.
“The t-shirts this man conceived, produced, and shared with the world are pure violence,” she said. “There is no excuse, there is no art here. I do think if you asked Kanye, he’d say there was art, and revolution, and all of the things in that t-shirt. There isn’t.”
“It didn’t land and it was deeply offensive, violent, and dangerous. And it’s so hugely irresponsible to furnish the most dangerous extremists with this kind of fictional narrative.”
Hadid was quick to defend the editor, calling West “a bully and a joke” in an Instagram comment.
“If there’s actually a point to any of your s*** she might be the only person that could save you,” she said about Karefa-Johnson, whom she worked with during a cover shoot with Vogue in March 2021. “As if the ‘honor’ of being invited to your show could keep someone from giving their opinion…?”
“You wish you had a percentage of her intellect. You have no idea,” she added.
The phrase “White Lives Matter” is considered a hate slogan by the Anti-Defamation League, an international non-profit organization. According to the ADL’s official website, the slogan is a racist and supremacist phrase coined in response to the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
Gabriella Karefa-Johnson is a renowned New York-based stylist. In 2021, she became the first black woman to style a cover of Vogue and has styled five covers since then. Hadid, a friend of the editor, continued to express her support via her Instagram stories, calling Karefa-Johnson “one of the most important voices in our industry” and someone who could “school that disgraceful man in more ways than one.”
Vogue came out with a statement calling West’s behavior “unacceptable” and voicing their support for Karefa-Johnson. They also revealed that West and Karefa-Johnson have spoken to each other during a “private meeting” since.
West also shared an Instagram post that he and Karefa-Johnson have since apologized to each other.
“Gabby is my sister. I’m not letting people go to bed thinking I didn’t meet with Gabriella at 5 pm today for two hours then we went to dinner at Ferdie,” he wrote in all-caps. “We apologized to each other for the way we made each other feel. We actually got along and have both experienced the fight for acceptance in a world that’s not our own.” – with reports from Andrea Ebdane/Rappler.com
Andrea Ebdane is a Rappler intern.