Katy Perry is feeling remorseful after some of her shoe designs sparked outrage for its resemblance to blackface.
In a statement to Page Six, Perry, 34, and her brand-management company, Global Brands Group, said, “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,” the statement continued. “Our intention was never to inflict any pain. We have immediately removed them from katyperrycollections.com.”
On Sunday, activist Tamika Mallory shared a photo of the Katy Perry Collections loafers on her Instagram with the caption, “Am I losing it?”
Mallory, 38, did not mention the word blackface in her caption, but several of her followers pointed out that design appeared very similar to the racist theatrical makeup used to represent a black person in the 19th century.
Others, like comedian Amanda Seales, who is black, disagreed. Seales, 37, commented in the thread, “I don’t feel this is the same.”
Mallory, the co-president of the 2019 Women’s March, then responded, “Blackface is not a black person. Blackface is a white person (with blue eyes and pink lips) covered with black shoe polish or some other skin darkening product.”
As of Monday, the “Rue Face Slip” loafers and “Ora Face Block Heel Sandal” were still available on Dillard’s website for a retail price of $129, but were taken down by Tuesday morning.
Katy Perry Collections launched in February 2017. According to its website, the shoes in the line are “inspired by Katy’s travels, humor and extraordinary imagination” and are “designed 100% by Katy Perry.”
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