Converse has been accused of stealing artwork submitted by a designer with her application for an internship with the company in a TikTok video that has gone viral on social media.
Cecilia Monge, a Florida-based designer, says she applied for a design internship with Converse two years ago and as part of her pitch, she submitted artwork for shoes along with her application. She added that she never heard back from the company only to discover that the Nike-owned footwear brand recently released shoes "exactly" like the ones she pitched, without giving her credit or taking her consent.
'I Don't Think It's a Coincidence'
"Two years ago I applied to a design internship with Converse and I got really excited about it, really wanted the internship so I went above and beyond and kinda made a pitch slide deck within my portfolio that I sent them for the application," Monge says in a TikTok video (also shared on Twitter) before revealing a comparison between two artworks submitted by her and the shoes released by Converse as part of its Chuck Taylor All Star 70 National Parks collection.
"Never got the internship, didn't hear back from them and then saw this on the internet," she continues. Both shoes feature the same color palette and appear to be quite similar in appearance. "I don't think it's a coincidence and it's kind of just unfortunate when larger companies borrow from smaller designers," she added.
Watch the video below:
The clip instantly went viral on Twitter with some users criticizing Converse for reproducing the designer's work as their own.
"@Converse please don't steal designers ideas when they are denied an internship. This is NOT okay," wrote one user, while another commented, "@Converse totally STOLE her designs and their reproduction of her designs are sooooooooo obviously a direct theft of HER intellectual property."
"@Converse really stooping as low as to steal an interns application designs? Really?" tweeted yet another.
Converse Responds to Accusations
In a tweet responding to a user urging the company to address the accusations, Converse issued the following statement: "Converse takes our creative work seriously. This concept and design was completed before we received this application. Converse does not share unsolicited portfolios of job applicants across the business."