Vans, as well, got involved with Hong Kong riots and protests. More than involved actually: in fact, because of a specific shoe model, they harshly criticized the US brand both in China and in Hong Kong. In fact, a few days ago, Asian young protesters launched, on several social networks, the following hashtag: #boycottvans. The aim is to protest against the US brand and its decision to withdraw from the market one of their shoe models. The company had “dedicated” such shoes to telling about political opposition against China’s interference in Hong Kong independence issue.
Still they have not manufactured nor commercialized the shoe model, created by designer Naomiso. They had simply selected it to participate in the Vans Custom Culture contest, launched by the company to discover new styles and trends. In compliance with the contest rules, the audience was supposed to vote for their favourite model. Since the very first beginning, on October 1st, shoes designed by Naomiso gained several “Like”, therefore placing first in the rankings. They were still in pole position when they blacked them out. Hong Kong demonstrators strongly protested against such decision in a very short while. A few celebrities, well known for being anti-China, among whom the artist Ai Weiwei, joined the movement of protesters as well. On top of that, a real digital revolt has been running riot on social networks. Someone also posted some pictures and videos showing several Vans shoe models thrown into the flush or even burnt.