Converse Responds to TikToker’s Accusation of Copying Designs She Submitted as Part of a 2019 Internship Application

·3 min read

Update: May 23, 2021 at 8:10 p.m. ET

Converse has issued a response to the TikTok user’s claims that the company allegedly sole designs she submitted as part of a 2019 internship application.

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“In November 2019, the candidate did apply to a Converse internship for 2020 summer program — a highly competitive program, which receives thousands of applications each year. She was not hired or screened for any roles. The application did not include a request for, nor did Converse solicit design portfolios/samples to be submitted. As a matter of standard legal policy, we do not share unsolicited portfolios of job applicants across the business,” the company said in an email statement to FN.

The statement continued, “In October 2020, we released a Chuck 70 design, which took inspiration from the map patterns of Nor’easter storms. It was first concepted and designed in April 2019. Due to the popularity of the style, we continued it in 2021 under our design concept ‘Hybrid World,’ which explores original design concepts informed by the physical and digital realities of modern lives. The Great Outdoors and specifically, National Parks, served as inspiration for various color palettes, which were applied across a number of executions across the Chuck 70, Chuck Taylor All Star and apparel.”

What We Originally Reported on May 23, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. ET

A TikTok user is calling out Converse for allegedly stealing designs she submitted as part of a 2019 internship application.

On Friday, designer Cecelia Monge took to the social media platform to share a now-viral video, during which she compared Converse’s Chuck Taylor All Star 70 National Parks high-tops to her own designs. In the clip, which has since been re-shared on Instagram by Diet Prada, Monge explained that she really wanted the internship, so she went “above and beyond” and included a shoe pitch in her portfolio for application.

Monge’s pitch consisted of two shoe designs — The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. Monge’s Grand Canyon pitch features what appears to be similar curved stripes and colors as Converse’s Red Bark/Malted/Gold Dart colorway, and her Yellowstone design is seemingly close to the brand’s Bright Poppy/Citron Pulse/Bold Wasabi sneaker. Monge also presented side by side images of her designs and Converse’s styles in the clip.

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“It is essentially the same. [I] didn’t get the internship and never heard back from them and then saw this on the internet,” Monge said in the video.

When specifically comparing her Yellowstone pitch to Converse‘s Bright Poppy/Citron Pulse/Bold Wasabi silhouette, Monge said: “The color palette is exactly the same … down to the order of the colors and the actual hues of the colors. Look at the yellows and the greens. It is the same color. I don’t think it’s a coincidence, and it’s unfortunate when larger companies borrow from smaller designers.”

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