Katy Perry 'saddened', forced to apologise after releasing shoes that resemble blackface

It's Black History Month in the year 2019, but some clothing is just still managing to be seen as racist. 

Pop star Katy Perry's fashion range is the latest to pull clothing said to resemble blackface; in this case, a new range of footwear. 

The shoes, a block heeled sandal and slip-on loafer, are made of black leather, topped with exaggerated red lips, a triangle nose and large blue eyes. 

Images of the footwear triggered a major online backlash, with Twitter users calling for Perry to explain the clear references to historic images of enslaved Africans in minstrel shows. 

Perry issued a statement to People magazine, saying she was "saddened" by the backlash, and that she never meant to offend. 

"The [shoes] were part of a collection that was released last summer in nine different colours... and envisioned as a nod to modern art and surrealism," the 'I Kissed A Girl' singer said. 

"I was saddened when it was brought to my attention that it was being compared to painful images reminiscent of blackface. Our intention was never to inflict any pain. We have immediately removed them from [our collection]."

Perry has faced criticism for racism in the past, most notably for this Instagram post of a box of 'Black Lives Matter' T-shirts she captioned "when your holiday shopping is woke af!" 

It's not even the first time this month that a clothing brand has been forced to apologise for perceived racism. 

Italian luxury brand Gucci was forced to pull a US$900 sweater after it was described online as racist, and 'haute couture blackface'. 

Gucci issued an apology and confirmed that the turtleneck had been "immediately removed from our online store and all physical stores".