The “Rue Face Slip On Loafers” and their high-heeled version, “Ora Face Block Heel Sandal” from the Katy Perry Collections label, have reportedly been pulled from shelves. The shoes are black with a design that mirrors a face with bright red lips, which many have said reflect blackface. The shoes sale for $129, and come in black, gold or beige, according to USA Today. The shoes have been sold at retailers like Dillards, Forever 21 and Lord Taylor.
“Sources connected to Katy tell us these specific shoes are just part of an entire line of shoes she’s designed and released … and they were never intended to be offensive,” TMZ first reported. “However, we’re told, ‘In order to be respectful and sensitive the team is in the process of pulling the shoes.’”
The fashion world has had two blackface stumbles in the last few months, with Prada pulling a line with imagery resembling blackface in December. Just four days ago, Gucci apologized for selling a wool sweater with a red cutout for the mouth.
Reactions on Twitter to the news were mixed, with some disapproving of the shoes.
Can we just make this a thing#causeascenehttps://t.co/5fo3wMKgJp pic.twitter.com/LRFw2bW9BC
katy perry is a disappointment https://t.co/ylQQXNwHi2
Wait? What? Is this the friggin @TheOnion ?!
You should be ashamed… pic.twitter.com/4Bjgf0hqjr
Others did not agree with the decision to pull the slip-ons from stores.
@katyperry why should u pull ur shoe line? No one says anything about Nick Cannon did whiteface few yrs ago or towards the end of last yr a not popular rap female singer did a whiteface on her album cover. Im tired of these 2 standards sensitive country. People r raising wimps!
As a journalist myself, i’m shocked that something this harmless would even make a news headline. Of course an organisation like @TMZ wants to cause public outrage for free views. These shoes are not offensive. I’m with you! #IStandWithKatyPerry
The ONLY thing yall should be talking about is how hideous the shoe, which comes in different colors, is. Not associating it w/ malicious racism #IStandWithKatyPerry
“Minstrelsy, comedic performances of ‘blackness’ by whites in exaggerated costumes and make-up, cannot be separated fully from the racial derision and stereotyping at its core,” according from a post on the museum’s website.