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Converse Responds To Claims That It Ripped Off Internship Applicant’s Designs
By Mikelle Leow, 24 May 2021
Image via Converse
Converse recently unveiled high-top sneakers alluringly inspired by National Parks in the United States, but a new viral video is relegating its creativity to a plateau. It comes from designer and TikToker Cecilia Monge, who accused the sportswear brand of grabbing artwork from her internship application and appropriating it to make the new footwear.
Visuals reposted by fashion watchdog Diet Prada compare Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star 70 National Parks shoes with illustrations allegedly from Monge’s internship pitch for the company, which imagined the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone parks as sneakers.
The designs don’t just resemble in colorways, but they also similarly feature contours that take after the parks’ map patterns.
The 22-year-old designer said she “really wanted” a job in the company, so she showed initiative and sent in some sketches to sum up how much value she’d bring to Converse.
Converse has since defended itself in a statement obtained by Footwear News. It confirmed that Monge had applied for Converse’s “highly competitive” 2020 summer internship program, but maintained that “the application did not include a request for, nor did Converse solicit design portfolios/samples to be submitted.” The company added that it has been a “standard legal policy” that portfolios of job candidates not be shared “across the business.”
Converse further explained that the sneakers are a follow-up to a Chuck 70 design showcasing map patterns of Nor’easter storms, which was conceptualized and designed in April 2019 and released in October 2020. “Due to the popularity of the style, we continued it in 2021 under our design concept ‘Hybrid World’… The Great Outdoors and, specifically, National Parks served as inspiration for various color palettes,” it elaborated.
[via Footwear News, cover image via Converse]
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