The Shoe that Doesn’t Fit – Why Did TOMS Exclude HBCUs?
Catching up on my Google Reader stories on Teen Vogue–yes, I know, I’m a little too old–last night, a feature caught me eye. The shoe brand TOMS has release the pictures for the College Classics Collection and with about thirty shoes, there was sure to be selections for everyone.
I expected to see Louisiana State University, Auburn University, Ohio State University, University of Arizona, but as I clicked through the slides, I didn’t see any college or university of the historically black suit.
Last year, in an exclusive interview with College Fashion, a representative from TOMS explained the inspiration behind the line:
From TOMS’ early beginnings, students have been some of our most loyal fans. TOMS would not be where it is today without the passion and drive from these young fans. They are passionate for more than just TOMS however, sharing the same passion for their alma mater. TOMS created the Campus Classics with their prominent display of school colors, to capture the magic of all that stems from school spirit, rooting for the home team, the diehard rivalries, and singing of the fight song.
Even with adding more shoes this year, the issue is more than just as a Southern University A&M College alum I wanted to be represented, but why was no college from an HBCU chosen? Why is that when higher education is discussed, HBCUs are never an option except to talk about how ineffective they are?
The answer I’m suspecting TOMS and supports of the College Classics Collection to say is “Just find the color of your school and wear those.” True enough. I could easily wear University of California Los Angeles’ shoe and deal with it. But why was it necessary to name then after specific colleges’?