TikTok User Claims Converse Stole Her Shoe Design Concepts
A TikTok user claims that Converse stole her designs for two of their recent shoe releases.
Calling herself "shook," Ceci Monge explained in a TikTok video posted Saturday (May 22) that she applied for a design internship with the retail giant two years prior, claiming that design ideas she submitted during the application process are eerily similar to new shoes released by the company.
"I got really excited about it, really wanted the internship, so I went above and beyond and kind of made a pitch slide deck within my portfolio that I sent them for the application. And this is what I designed," she says in the clip, pointing to a side-by-side comparison of her original artwork for "The Grand Canyon" shoe and Converse's new shoe design using the same color palette and a similar gradient design.
"Didn't get the internship, never heard back from them, and then saw this on the internet," she continues before showing a second shoe that looks suspiciously similar to another design she submitted, all the way down to the blue, turquoise, yellow and orange hues she chose based on an acidic pool inside Yellowstone National Park. (Naturally, Monge named her proposed design "Yellowstone.")
"But yeah, I don't think it's a coincidence," the Etsy shop owner concludes. "And it's kind of just unfortunate when larger companies 'borrow' from smaller designers."
Take a look at the side-by-side comparisons between Monge's alleged proposedesigns and Converse's latest drops below.
In a follow-up video the next day, Monge thanked the TikTok community for helping the post go viral, pointing out yet another new Converse design similar to her "Yellowstone" shoe. She also came with receipts showing the November 2019 time stamp on the Adobe Illustrator file of the portfolio she submitted when she allegedly applied for the internship.
However, Converse denies Monge's allegations. In a statement shared to Footwear News, the company states:
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.
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.