UPDATED: Katy Perry issued an apology after shoes from her fashion line were criticized for evoking racist imagery.
Perry told the New York Times her shoes were part of a collection “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,” she said in a joint statement with her partner Global Brands Group. “Our intention was never to inflict any pain. We have immediately removed them from http://katyperrycollections.com.”
The style in question, present on the line’s “Rue Face Slip On Loafers” and “Ora Face Block Heel Sandal,” featured large, blue eyes and and a pair of even larger red lips set to the lower part of the shoes all priced at $129. Retailers including Dillard’s and Walmart pulled the footwear after it received backlash for resembling blackface.
Although the shoes come in two colors, black and beige, only their black counterparts have drawn criticism due to their resemblance to classic blackface makeup.
“Empire” director-writer Eric Haywood called out the shoes on Twitter, writing “Black History Month…Day 11!”
Black History Month…Day 11! https://t.co/oTFc6ufTpO
— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) February 11, 2019
“Ok, can we just make this a rule that ANY product, service or person that is NOT Black will NOT create, promote or apply any combination of BLACK + FACE,” wrote one Twitter user. “Can we just make this a thing.”
Katy Perry 'Blackface' Shoe to Be Pulled from Shelves
Ok, can we just make this a rule that ANY product, service or person that is NOT Black will NOT create, promote or apply any combination of BLACK + FACE
— Kim Crayton [She/Her] 🏢 💻🎙#causeascene (@KimCrayton1) February 11, 2019
Both shoes have also disappeared from the Katy Perry Collections website, which offers a number of other shoe options including sneakers, boots and flats.
Additionally, the news comes on the heels of several other fashion faux pas, including the removal of a Gucci sweater from retailers last week for a similar issue as well as Prada’s own brush with blackface for a monkey bag charm that resembled the racist makeup in December.