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Shoes from Katy Perry's fashion line are reportedly being pulled from stores after people accused them of resembling blackface

INSIDER logoINSIDER 6 days ago Lucy Yang
a person in a red dress © Lester Cohen/Getty Images
  • People have accused Katy Perry's shoes and handbags line, Katy Perry Collections, of designing two shoes that resemble blackface.
  • The line's Rue Face Slip On Loafers and the Ora Face Block Heel Sandal are "in the process" of being pulled from stores, anonymous sources "connected to" Perry told TMZ.
  • TMZ's sources said the loafers and heeled sandals were "never intended to be offensive."
  • Both shoes come in black and feature leather uppers embellished with identical 3D eyes, a gold triangle "nose," and bright-red lips.
  • At the time of writing, neither pair of shoes is available on Katy Perry Collections' site nor on Dillard's online, though they were available on Dillard's earlier Monday.

Two designs from Katy Perry's fashion line that were accused of resembling blackface are reportedly being pulled from stores, TMZ reported Monday.

The shoes named in TMZ's report are the Rue Face Slip On Loafers and the Ora Face Block Heel Sandal from Katy Perry Collections, a line of shoes and handbags that's sold online and at retailers like Dillard's and Walmart. According to the brand's About Us page, the collection is "designed 100% by" Perry.

The loafers and heeled sandals, which were still available on Dillard's site earlier today, feature leather uppers embellished with identical 3D eyes, a gold triangle "nose," and bright-red lips.

The loafers are available in black and light-beige, while the heeled sandals come in black and gold.

a close up of a mask © Dillard's © Dillard's

According to TMZ, anonymous sources "connected to" Perry said the loafers and heeled sandals are being pulled from stores after people online accused the shoes of resembling blackface.

The unnamed sources told TMZ that the shoes were "just part of an entire line of shoes [Perry] designed and released" and were "never intended to be offensive."

But "in order to be respectful and sensitive, the team is in the process of pulling the shoes," TMZ's sources said.

At the time of writing, neither pair of shoes is available on Katy Perry Collections' website nor on Dillard's online. Representatives for Katy Perry, Katy Perry Collections, Walmart, and Dillard's did not immediately respond to INSIDER's requests for comment.

TMZ's report about Perry's shoes comes days after Gucci apologized for and pulled a balaclava sweater that people accused of looking like blackface. The black wool top, which reportedly retailed for $900, featured a long turtleneck that covered the bottom portion of the face with a cutout over the mouth. 

a person wearing a suit and tie © Gucci

On social media, the sweater was widely criticized 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 US, which dates back to the 1830s.

In the early 19th century, according to the National Museum of African-American History & Culture, white actors created caricatures of black slaves by applying burnt cork or shoe polish to their faces before performances. The use of blackface in minstrel shows, movies, and other mediums spread dehumanizing stereotypes about black people that were used to exclude them from the entertainment industry and deny them the full rights of citizenship.

On Wednesday, Gucci said it "deeply apologizes for the offense caused by" its balaclava sweater in a statement posted on Twitter. According to Gucci, the top was "immediately removed" from its website and all physical stores.

"We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond," the brand added in its statement.

Related: African Americans: Nothing funny about blackface  [Provided by Associated Press]

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