Home hypebeast Vans Pulls Pro-Hong Kong Design out of Competition

Vans Pulls Pro-Hong Kong Design out of Competition

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Known for its “Off The Wall” lifestyle and various collaborations, California sneaker brand Vans has now found itself in hot water after pulling a pro-Hong Kong design out of its recent competition, reports Business of Fashion.The design, which depicts masked individuals standing in unison along with Hong Kong’s national orchid and a yellow umbrella — emblematic of the Hong Kong protests — was created by Canada-based artist “Naomiso” and entered into Vans’ annual Global Custom Culture shoe contest. Since voting kicked off on Tuesday, October 1, the protest-themed design quickly gained the highest number of votes with over 140,579 and counting. The second place entry by “Madillusionsart” has only received 10,147 votes thus far. Over the weekend Vans removed the top-ranking design from the competition in a bid to keep away from politics, and has since faced a slew of backlash, especially from those located in Hong Kong. The controversial move has now even sparked the hashtag “#boycottVans,” which has been gaining traction on social media platforms. According to the conditions of the competition, the entry with the highest votes will win $25,000 USD and have the design added to this year’s Vans production line. Following the removal of the design Vans shared: “as a brand that is open to everyone, we have never taken a political position and therefore review designs to ensure they are in line with our company’s long-held values of respect and tolerance.” The winning designs will be announced on December 19. This isn’t the first time a sneaker company has been pulled into the political crisis unfolding in Hong Kong. Earlier this year, Nike cancelled its UNDERCOVER release in China after Jun Takahashi showed support of Hong Kong’s ongoing protests and marches. In related news, KAWS responds to backlash for Chairman Mao-based artwork.As a big fans of Vans, I’m so disappointed to discover that yr brand value “off the wall” is just a fucking joke #boycottvans #HongKongProstest pic.twitter.com/8d5ZSTzwPq— freesalad (@Sarahbbb7) October 5, 2019#boycottvans https://t.co/MWcb6kulSI— sea (@imcrouching) October 6, 2019Where is the design of Naomiso?#offtheshelves #vans #boycottvans pic.twitter.com/TsBaiCDrNR— NanaBa (@Nana_hairy) October 5, 2019Shame on you.#vans#HongKongProstests pic.twitter.com/OGkUrVys5M— Disnema (@disnema) October 5, 2019Sorry we are so powerless and such a small market… we don’t deserve your support and neither do you deserve ours.Goodbye and good luck.#Vans #vanscustomculturecontest #BoycottVans#HowManyMore pic.twitter.com/oEKGszvqs5— ChowTart (@tArtcHow) October 5, 2019Vans removed this submission after receiving more than 30k votes by saying the design has political messages. So Vans is against the idea of fighting for freedom&justice? What happened to your core msg of creativity&progression? Very disappointing.#boycottVans#StandwithHK pic.twitter.com/Ku04Dd6K7g— Dito (@DitoVon) October 5, 2019Don’t claim that you celebrate creativity when you have zero tolerance towards a political position. Off the wall? Go lick the great wall. #boycottvans pic.twitter.com/5Z3Iw0ZJB8— jellykellie (@kellyytsss) October 5, 2019Click here to view full gallery at HYPEBEAST

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