Katy Perry's Fashion Line Under Fire for "Blackface" Shoes

Katy Perry - Dear Evan Hansen - 2018
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Social media comments have compared the shoes, which also come in beige, to "blackface makeup."

At least two shoe designs from Katy Perry's fashion line, Katy Perry Collections, were criticized on social media for resembling blackface imagery.

The shoes in question were black "Rue Face Slip On Loafers" and "Ora Face Block Heel Sandals" that have cut-out faces — red lips, big blue eyes and a triangular nose — on the top.

Social media comments have compared the shoes, which also come in beige, to "blackface makeup." One user cited that "ignorance is never a fashion statement."

In response to the backlash, which transpired Monday, online retailers including Dillard's and Walmart have reportedly pulled the styles from their stores. 

Katy Perry and Global Brands Group gave the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

"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. 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 Katy Perry Collections."

Perry's fashion line is the latest fashion brand to face a blackface-linked backlash. Last week, Gucci apologized after criticism for releasing a sweater with a balaclava-like piece that was also seen as evoking blackface. Prada was called out for introducing blackface monkey figures on keychains and purses placed in window displays. Adidas and Dolce & Gabbana have been hit with racist accusations in the past.