A TikToker has gone viral after she accused sneaker brand Converse of stealing a design she once submitted to them and was never credited for, detailing all the evidence in a short video.
Cecilia Monge, a 22-year-old from Miami, applied for a design internship at Converse in 2019, and for the application, she sent in her own design for Converse shoes which were based on different US national parks and their color schemes.
However, over a year later, Converse has released a design that is eerily similar to that of Cecilia’s original submission called “Chuck 70s National Parks,”, and she aired her frustrations in a TikTok where she detailed the exact similarities between the two, and her experiences.
@ceci.mongeOuch @converse ##internship ##design ##smalldesigner ##plzstopstealing ##fashion ##TWDSurvivalChallenge ##fyp♬ original sound – Ceci.monge
Monge explained that she had never heard back from the company, but was shaken when she saw another viral video admiring the new release. She showed her original submission and the current shoe designs side-by-side, demonstrating the similarities.
“The color palette is exactly the same as the one I sent them, down to the order of the colors and the actual hues of the colors,” she said. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
The TikTok has more than 15 million views at the time of writing, and has certainly enraged a lot of people, with one person writing “@converse why are you stealing from young professionals and also not even hiring them?” and another person adding “So tired of big brands taking advantage of designers”
The incident appears to have sparked a conversation about the industry, with Cecilia posting another TikTok mentioning that she had been contacted by other professional designers who said it was a common occurrence, and she has started the tag #designersspeakup to promote more discussion on the topic.
@ceci.mongeReply to @vsheridan Thank you @nevawhite for speaking on this issue, please use ##designersspeakup to talk about your experiences♬ original sound – Ceci.monge
Cecilia confirmed she had been emailed but had not received any compensation, apology, or credit from Converse.
Meanwhile, Converse has responded to the accusations in a statement to Buzzfeed, denying that they stole the design: “The Chuck 70 product design, as well as the Great Outdoors and National Parks concept, was conceived before we received an application from the candidate.”