A controversial TikTok of a woman claiming Converse copied her designs went viral. Cecilia Monge publicized her disbelief after seeing the lifestyle brand’s latest release that was inspired by the US National Parks. She submitted similar design ideas to the company when she applied for an internship application two years ago.
Coincidence or Not?
Monge told Buzzfeed News that her initial reaction was disbelief. “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.” She compares her design to the official Converse line and points out that the color palettes are exactly the same — from the order of the colors and the actual hues. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence.”
Converse’s spokesperson denied the claims that they ripped off Monge’s design for the Chuck 70 National Parks line. Their statement to Buzzfeed read, “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.” Monge has also been told that it’s unlikely that a large company would take an idea from a rejected internship applicant.
The Footwear Development Process
To clarify the issue, Converse’s Director of the North American Strategy team reached out to Monge and tried to walk her through the footwear development process. “Our process typically runs from 12-18 months from concept to creation.” They told Buzzfeed that the design team has been conceptualizing this since November 2018, and initiated the shoe design in April 2019. By October 2020, the first results of that Chuck 70 design were completed.
Monge is not satisfied with the brand’s response and still feels she has been wronged. In an update on her Tiktok account, she shares that that Converse has reached out to her via email. They still have not apologized, credited, or compensated her in any way.