Katy Perry footwear label recalls shoes amid blackface accusations
For the second time this week, a high-profile fashion brand has come under fire for a new design that evokes racist imagery.
Katy Perry has had to pull two shoe styles from her namesake brand’s summer 2018 collection after comparisons to blackface. The Ora Face Block Heel and the Rue Face Slip-On Loafers, were part of a collection available in nine different colourways. Both styles feature exaggerated eyes, nose and full red lips.
The singer's brand, which launched in 2017 in partnership with Global Brands Group, is well-known for its vibrant and whimsical designs.
Katy Perry is part of a growing list of luxury design houses and retailers that have come under fire for racist imagery in recent months.
Earlier this week, Italian luxury brand Gucci pulled a black turtleneck with bright red lips from its e-shop after comparisons to blackface. The "balaclava jumper" pulled up to the eyes and featured a mouth opening visible through large red lips.
Meanwhile, in December, Prada was called out for releasing blackface keychains and other accessories.
“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,” Katy Perry said, in a joint statement with Global Brands Group.
The shoes have now been removed from the Katy Perry Collections, which was being sold at Dillard’s and other retailers.
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