A 22-year-old went viral on TikTok after posting a video where she claimed her strong belief that a design pitch she sent to Converse in 2019 was the inspiration behind the company’s latest shoe line.
Cecilia Monge (@ceci.monge) said in a now-viral TikTok that she applied for an internship at Converse two years ago. As part of her application, she claims she submitted some original shoe ideas — including several designs inspired by different U.S. National Parks. Monge said her internship application was ultimately rejected.
Converse’s latest drop is called the Chuck 70 National Parks line.
In Monge’s video, she claims that she scrolled by another TikTok praising Converse for the new line and believed the designs strongly resembled the ones she had previously sent the company.
“My initial reaction was disbelief,” Monge told BuzzFeed News. “I knew the designs looked like the ones I sent them two years ago, but I was hesitant because they were such a reputable brand.”
After thinking about it and talking to friends and family, Monge decided to go public with her thoughts. Her video has now hit over 15 million views.
“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,” Monge said in the video. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
According to BuzzFeed News, the director of Converse’s North American Strategy team reached out to Monge and allegedly “wanted to provide some clarity on the footwear development process.”
“[Our process] typically runs from 12–18 months from concept to creation,” the statement said, according to BuzzFeed. “In November 2018, our design team was working against a seasonal Nor’easter creative direction, and the shoe design was initiated in April of 2019. The first results of that Chuck 70 design released in October 2020.”
A spokesperson for Converse also spoke with BuzzFeed News and denied that the Chuck 70 National Parks line was developed using Monge’s application.
“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,” the spokesperson’s statement said.
According to BuzzFeed, Converse said it would not provide contact information for the creative team behind the designs, saying it was a matter of “standard legal policy.”
“Converse’s product and design team is made up of nearly 150 individuals across the globe who manage our creative process, season in and season out,” the spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “We do not share unsolicited portfolios of job applicants across the business.”
Even with Converse’s statements, Monge doesn’t feel satisfied.
“I believe Converse’s response is what you would expect,” she told BuzzFeed. “The literal millions of people that have been outraged about this whole situation still feel exactly the same after their response and are still calling for justice on all of Converse’s social media accounts.”
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