Kanye West sued by photographer for allegedly using photo without permission to slam Vogue’s Gabriella Karefa-Johnson… after she criticized his White Lives Matter shirt
- West, 46, was sued for posting a photo of Karefa-Johnson to mock her clothes
- Photographer Michaela Efford said in filings that she didn’t give him permission
- She is suing the rapper for an undisclosed sum
Kanye West has found himself in legal trouble after sharing a photo of a Vogue editor to mock her.
The 46-year-old rapper is being sued by the photographer Michaela Efford, who says West used a photo of hers without paying or otherwise getting permission to use it, according to legal documents obtained by TMZ.
She had snapped a photo of the fashion writer and Vogue contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, which West — who recently seemed to put his feud with Ice Cube to bed — shared to his Instagram to poke fun at her outfit.
The social media tirade was apparently set off by Karefa-Johnson criticizing West for styling models — and himself — in a T-shirt reading ‘White Lives Matter.’
At the time, she described the shirt and the show it was featured in as ‘indefensible behavior’ in her Instagram Stories.
Blowback: Kanye West, 46, is being sued by the photographer Michaela Efford for allegedly posting one of her photos to Instagram without permission; seen in 2019 in NYC
Punching down: Efford says West posted her photo of Vogue contributing editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson to mock her clothes after she criticized his ‘White Lives Matter’ T-shirts; seen in September in Paris
She later admitted that the rapper may have intended the shirts and his fashion show to be an act of button-pushing inspired by Marcel Duchamp, but she didn’t find it to be successful in the least.
‘It didn’t land, and it was deeply offensive, violent and dangerous,’ she wrote later.
The measured critique didn’t sit well with West, though, and he set about trying to mock Karefa-Johnson appearance, fashion sense and possible even her professional credentials.
‘This is not a fashion person You speak on Ye Ima speak on you Ask Trevor Noah,’ the Monster rapper wrote to accompany an Instagram photo of the writer that Efford allegedly holds the copyright on.
In her filing, she wrote that she took the photo of Karefa-Johnson in September of 2022, and West posted it only about one week later.
His post came amid a spat of offensive displays, including the ‘White Lives Matter’ shirts, which many commentators found to be racist.
The Paris Fashion Week show featuring the shirts also included the right-wing fixture Candace Owens, who wore one of the shirts, as did West.
He subsequently shared multiple antisemitic statements, which led to the cancellation of deals he had with Gap and Balenciaga, as well as the abrupt end of his highly lucrative Yeezy deal with Adidas.
Below the belt: ‘This is not a fashion person,’ he wrote while sharing the photo of Karefa-Johnson. Efford has said his post made it difficult for her to license the photo, and she’s seeking unspecified damages; seen in October 2022 in Paris
Can’t take criticism? West lashed out at Karefa-Johnson for saying that his Yeezy show ‘didn’t land’ and was ‘deeply offensive, violent and dangerous’; seen in September in Paris
Among Efford’s complaints in her filing is that West’s Instagram post made it difficult for her to market or license the photo of Karefa-Johnson.
She is seeking an unspecified amount for damages.
Although West had received criticism for many of the bizarre posts and statements he made leading up to his fashion show, his criticism of Karefa-Johnson was a bridge too far for many, as he has far more clout and exposure than she has.
‘You wish u had a percentage of her intellect’ wrote her friend Gigi Hadid in a comment on one of Ye’s posts. She added that he was ‘a bully and a joke.’