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’?

Express your concerns by contacting TOMS via Twitter (@TOMS) and emailing them here.

Do you think HBCUs should be including? Sound off!

  • Cold Fire

    HBCUS are amazing and still needed. I really hate that even black people ask other black people why they didn’t go to a regular college. It makes no sense because you are implying a normal college means mostly white! That is so ignorant to me. I would love to hear what toms has to say about this. I do think like all vanillacentric operations, they are just oblivious to the fact that HBCUs still exist and still think they are for blacks only, so why would it cross their minds?

    • The Right Honourable

      I love the “regular college” quote. It’s like HBCUs are normal. No one questions when Catholics, Jews or Mormons go to their schools. I’ve been trying to contact them all day. No dice, so far.

      • Cold Fire

        OK! YES! Black people are always shucking and jiving on the door step of tomfoolery. Esp when it comes to holding each other back.

      • Cold Fire

        By the way, you are gorgeous.

        • The Right Honourable

          Thank you!

  • Brent

    I’m not even shocked anymore. However TOMS does donate shoes and profits. So let’s not act like they aren’t doing anything.