There have been a number of blackface incidents relating to some of the top Fashion lines and now Katy Perry has joined the club. Accused of being racist, stores have removed sandals and loafers belonging to her fashion line from the shelves after claims they depict blackface.

Admittedly Perry does have "whiteface" shoes too, but the black shoes with their glaring blue eyes, nose and full red lips are the ones causing the problem.

Katy Perry Collections and racist shoes

First, it was several retailers, including Wal-Mart that removed the shoes from their stores.

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A Walmart spokesman said they are pulling the shoes to be “respectful and sensitive” over the issue. Now the singer’s fashion line itself, Katy Perry Collections, has also removed the shoes from their shelves and online stores.

The BBC notes that Perry was “saddened” by the news that her design, with red lips against black leather was being compared to “painful images” of the red-lipped Sambo caricature by online critics.

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Speaking of the two designs, The Rue and The Ora, Katy said the designs were envisaged as being a “nod to modern art and surrealism.” She said in a statement that their intention was not to inflict pain and they have immediately removed the shoes from their line.

Blackface and modern fashion

This is not the first recent issue relating to blackface and fashion.

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Just last week a black polo neck jumper was removed by Gucci from its shops, as they featured a mask covering the lower face, emblazoned with huge red lips. Prada removed several fashion accessories from their shops in December, as they looked like black monkeys with big red lips.

As reported by The Guardian, Moncler, the winter sports fashion brand, was criticised in 2016 when they released several fashion designs depicting a black face with large red lips.

According to their spokesman at the time, this was supposed to be the face of a cartoon penguin that was intended to promote global friendship. They were “deeply troubled” that the face could be seen out of context and associated with past or present racist caricatures.

As for Perry herself, this isn’t the first time she has been in the news over “cultural appropriation” in the past.

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At an awards ceremony in 2013, she dressed like a geisha and in 2017, she was seen to be wearing cornrows in her hair for the music video of “This Is How We Do.” At the time Katy said she had made several mistakes, which she doesn’t understand, but will try to educate herself not to make them again.

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