Katy Perry-Designed Shoes Pulled Amid Blackface Backlash

12 February, 2019, 16:43 | Author: Donna Miller
  • Katy Perry’s Controversial Blackface Shoes To Be Pulled From Retailers

On social media, the sweater was widely criticised for including a red outline around the mouth cutout, ostensibly to resemble lips - a design that many said evoked the racist history of blackface in the USA, which dates back to the 1830s.

Today, Katy Perry becomes the latest high-profile person to come under scrutiny related to the use of black face, but in this case for designing a shoe that resembles the racist gesture.

The "face" shoes have two eyes, a nose and red lips on them, and they come in two different colors - black and beige.

They have been compared to blackface and were slammed by some on social media who said it mimicked the racist practice of light-skinned people painting their face to appear black.

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The unnamed sources told TMZ that the shoes were "just part of an entire line of shoes [Perry] designed and released" and were "never meant to be offensive". "In order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes".

Both shoes have also disappeared from the Katy Perry Collections website, which offers a number of other shoe options including sneakers, boots and flats. The brand said it was meant to be the face of a cartoon penguin, "whose message is first and foremost one of global friendship", but removed the designs, adding: "We are deeply troubled if the face, seen out of its context, could be associated with past or present unacceptable, racially offensive caricatures". The black model could be construed to look like someone wearing blackface.

Recently, luxury fashion house Gucci was called out for a balaclava sweater which, according to commentators, resembles blackface.

Last week, Gucci was forced to pull a jumper from its new collection after similar accusations about blackface.

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