"How are designers still making this mistake?"

In this week's comments update, readers are divided over Katy Perry's decision to remove allegedly "racist" designs from her shoe line

On the other foot: following the recent backlash against Gucci's balaclava jumper, which was accused of resembling blackface, Katy Perry removed two designs from her Katy Perry Collections shoe line. Not everyone agreed it was necessary though.

"Those are black shoes with little faces on them. Not "blackface" shoes," argued Milton.

"I agree," said Hani Santa. "Too sensitive – there is also a light version with exactly the same features. Clearly it's not intended as racist, it's just a style."

Victor wasn't so sure though: "The shoes play on racist stereotypes used in theatrical makeup, period! I highly doubt this was intentional but that doesn't make it okay. Nobody is getting punished here, I am just glad they removed the shoes and apologised."

Jam agreed, asking: "How are designers still making this mistake?"

This reader had their own reason for not buying the shoes:

Do you think the design is inappropriate? Join the discussion ›

Harley-Davidson's latest electric scooter is designed for the city

Lighten up: in a bid to attract a wider audience Harley-Davidson has released two all-electric bike concepts. The lighter, more agile designs have divided reader opinion.

"Has Harley-Davidson been emasculated?" asked Spadestick. "There's no resemblance to a long time honoured tradition of producing classic bikes."

Aint Yer Pa shared the sentiment: "Attract new customers at the expense of its old? Recipe for failure. There are ways to stay relevant without alienating the core set of people that made you successful."

"I don't really care for motorcycles but these two actually look really nice," said Zea Newland, in contrast. "I find it brave of Harley-Davidson to reinvent itself like that in order to attract new customers."

TKO went further: "The old customers are, literally, old! 'True street bikers' are an ageing demographic."

One commenter was more concerned with the bike's suitability as urban transport:

Is Harley-Davidson right to try and reinvent the wheel? Join the discussion ›

Sky Trees by Koichi Takada Architects

Skirting around the issue: readers are torn over Koichi Takada Architects' proposal for Sky Trees, a Los Angeles tower boasting a splayed bottom inspired by Marilyn Monroe's iconic "flying skirt".

"Great for Los Angeles, and fun," praised Patrick Kennedy.

Hugh Janus was also quite impressed: "I like the form of the tower with subtle curves, angular roof and elegant window details. The Marilyn reference ruined it all though, taking attention away from what is a notable design."

"It's nice without the unnecessary narrative. Leave Marilyn Monroe in peace," pleaded Spadestick.

Palsan likened the building to something else: "Looks like giant half-cooked spaghetti strings hanging down, with the cooked part bent upwards. Weird."

The design also grated on this reader:

Does the building resemble Monroe's skirt? Join the discussion ›

Layer's smart Move seating for Airbus adapts to the passengers needs

Flight control: Layer's prototype of Airbus' economy class seating, featuring technology which would allow passengers to monitor and control their seat conditions using their phone, hasn't gone down well with readers. 

"Why do you need an app to monitor and control your seat, when the application needed to monitor and control your seat could also be put onto the screen in front of you?," wondered She Grabs The Curtain.

Flyer was also wary: "Looks extremely uncomfortable."

"I really appreciate all that smart stuff," added Allen diplomatically, "except the passengers still have to share those armrests."

"As a traveller, I need and want seats that I can recline. Nothing less," concluded A Voice.

At least this commenter was excited about something:

What do you think of the seats. Join the discussion ›