LOS ANGELES: Katy Perry’s fashion line was criticised on social media for at least two shoe designs for being racist.
Katy Perry Collections became a target of online trolling after the new kicks resembled “blackface” imagery.
People compared the shoes, which also come in beige, to “blackface makeup”.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 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.
One of the users commented, saying “ignorance is never a fashion statement”, while another said “Those Katy Perry blackface shoes are racist.”
In response to the backlash, which emerged Monday, online retailers including Dillards and Wallmart have reportedly pulled the shoe styles from their stores.
Katy Perry and Global Brands Group issued a statement, saying the “intention was never to inflict any pain” and they have removed the said designs from the collection.
“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,” the statement read.
Perry’s fashion line is the latest fashion brand to face a blackface-linked backlash.
Last week, Gucci apologised for releasing a sweater with a balaclava-like headpiece that was also seen as evoking blackface.
Other brands including Prada, Adidas and Dolce & Gabbana have been hit with racist accusations in the past.