After concerns about blackface, Katy Perry is removing two shoe styles from her footwear collection.
The singer would be removing the Ora Face Block Heel and Rue Face Slip On Loafers — each priced at $129 — from retailers such as Dillards, as well as Walmart, TMZ reported.
This was after multiple shoppers complained how the black colorways’ resembled that of blackface.
The shoe also comes in a beige colorway.
One of Perry’s representatives gave a statement to InStyle on behalf of both the singer and Global Brands Group, saying:
“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 comparison was just days after Gucci was also caught in a blackface scandal — when they sold a $890 sweater with large red lips that resembled the inappropriate blackface makeup.
The brand has since issued an apology for the mask and removed the product from shelves.
Dapper Dan, a Harlem-based designer, had a collection with the Italian design house, issued his own statement, pledging to hold Gucci’s team accountable for their actions:
“I am a Black man before I am a brand,” he tweeted this past Monday. “There cannot be inclusivity without accountability. I will hold everyone accountable.”
Prada as well as faced accusations of racism after a shopper noticed the “Pradamalia” trinket in a store window display in New York that looked much like blackface.
Prada also issued an apology and vowed to diversify its staff to be more conscious of its product’s appearance.
And while fashion is just one of the many places blackface is popping back up — early this month, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam admitted to dressing up in blackface after photos from his college yearbook of two men — one dressed in blackface, the other dressed in a Ku Klux Klan robe — surfaced.
He apologized for the image, and then denied being in at all — stating he had dressed in blackface for a Michael Jackson costume.
Perry did not intend for the shoes to be either offensive or racist according to a TMZ source, but decided to pull the shoes “in order to be respectful and sensitive.”
In 2017, Perry had apologized for her decision to wear cornrows in her “This Is How We Do” music video. She was also accused of appropriating culture for the 2013 American Music Awards where Perry dressed as a geisha.
“I didn’t know that I did it wrong until I heard people saying that I did it wrong,” she said. “It takes someone to say, out of compassion, out of love, ‘Hey, this is what the origin is’.”
A good rule of thumb? If you think you may be appropriating culture in your style choices, then you probably are and you should stop before making a choice you may later regret. **mic drop**
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