Katy Perry’s fashion line has pulled a line of footwear from stores after they were accused of using a design which resembled blackface.
The Katy Perry Collections Rue sandals and Ora loafers feature prominent red lips on black fabric and have garnered comparisons to the Sambo caricatures which have long been regarded as racist caricatures.
Holy shit do these ppl not have black employees that would tell them this is a bad idea smh this brands are getting sadder by the day RT @nypost: Katy Perry's shoes pulled after 'blackface' backlash https://t.co/fMb8c6NiCf pic.twitter.com/czGJa24NCg
— Rich Kid (@DaRichKid) February 12, 2019
Speaking to TMZ, a spokesperson for the fashion line said: “In order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes”.
A spokesperson for the 34-year-old singer told Sky News that she is ‘saddened’ by online backlash to the shoes, which were intended to pay homage to modern art: “The Rue and The Ora were part of a collection that was released last summer in nine 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.”
The shoes, which were previously stocked in most US retailers including Walmart, have now been removed.
Perry’s designs are the latest in a series of garments to come under fire for using supposed blackface designs.
Gucci, Prada, and Moncler have all received backlash for using the red-lipped Sambo design.
In 2016, Moncler released a winter-sports line which featured a black-faced motif with red lips.
The design, which the brand claimed to be a cartoon penguin, bore similarities to the now-banned controversial caricature dolls.
How does this keep happening with supposedly 'luxury' brands? No-one at Gucci clocked the similarity between the racist imagery of their $890 blackface jumper and Prada's keychain – the latter of which was pulled from stores less than two months ago? Or do they just not care? pic.twitter.com/pNxTbuJeXV
— Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff (@CharlieBCuff) February 7, 2019
In December, Prada removed a series of accessories which appeared to be designed in the image of black monkeys with red lips.
GUCCI IS CANCELLED ALL 2019 🙅🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/YtGKdKZwqX
— Nori (@4amNori) February 7, 2019
Just last week, a black turtleneck jumper which featured red lips and presented on a model in a balaclava style was removed from Gucci shops.
Photo by Katy Perry Collection.