Katy Perry Apologizes for Shoe Designs from Her Namesake Label That Evoke 'Blackface'
Just weeks after Prada and Gucci came under fire for selling products that evoked racist blackface imagery, another brand is being accused of the same thing. Katy Perry Footwear, the shoe line designed by pop star Katy Perry, is being called out on social media for two its latest shoe styles.
In a joint statement to PEOPLE Perry and Global Brands Group apologize for the brand’s "Ora Face Block Heel Sandal" and the "Rue Face Slip On Loafers" which both feature gold eyes, nose and red lips on the toe of the shoe to create a face-like depiction that some feel is strongly associated with blackface.
“The Rue and The Ora were part of a collection that was released last summer in 9 different colorways (black, blue, gold, graphite, lead, nude, pink, red, silver) and envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism,” the statement begins.
“I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface. Our intention was never to inflict any pain. We have immediately removed them from katyperrycollections.com.“
While both the closed-toe and sandal styles were available in multiple colorways, the black hue in particular has social media users in an uproar.
“So ashamed of you blackface shoes OMG,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Regarding Katy Perry’s shoes; if you have to second guess whether a design is blackface/racist…it probably is,” said another Twitter user. “Reaching” or not, information is too readily accessible for this to occur. #DoBetter”
But some believe the accusations have gone too far. “Ok listen, this is a major REACH!!!! Your shoes are not blackface! Actually reminds me of the “Wink” slides. If you have extra i will happily take a pair in both colors,” said one Twitter user.
This news follows two big-name designers also being accused of depicting racist imagery. Gucci was called out last week for its controversial turtleneck sweater that covers half the face and features large red lips printed around a mouth cut-out.
In December, Prada issued a product line of cartoon characters that had a black skin tone with red lips, resembling blackface imagery.
Both brands issued a statements of apology and pulled their controversial product from shelves and online retailers.