Beyond Parody: Interning in the Fashion World

In our second interview with an ex-Intern, Interns Anonymous caught up with someone who had a behind the scenes look at the fashion world.  She found that working at a glamorous magazine actually wasn’t that glamorous.

Interns Anonymous: Tell me about your internship. What kind of magazine was it?

*****:  I worked for a fashion magazine. I was in the beauty department, working alongside the beauty editor and her assistant. It was unpaid…

Interns Anonymous: Did it live up to the stereotype of the fashion world?

*****:  Emphatically yes. But in different ways. It’s not as glamorous as you would think. But the people are almost like a parody of themselves. I don’t think they are very well paid, but I think they have very wealthy parents.

Interns Anonymous: Why do you say this…

*****:  Well, the editor thought they might not have a Christmas party this year because of cut-backs… so she rang up her Daddy to take them out to the Dorchester “because otherwise we wouldn’t have anything for Christmas this year”. I was like yes, sure.

They were always ringing up for botox appointments, leaving work early for facials. Then not being able to have facials because they had just had botox. They go on about how hard they work, then leave at 4 to have their hair and make-up done because they have to go to a party.

They just talk about how busy they are all the time, and do no work. One person rang up and I had to say the boss was in a meeting, but she was talking to someone about her new boyfriend, looking on facebook for pictures of him. She was saying “he’s lovely, he’s lovely… but penniless… I can’t marry someone that’s penniless”.

 Interns Anonymous:  Were you inducted into this lifestyle?

*****: No, I was just there, all the time. Picking up the phone…

Interns Anonymous: So your role was phone-jockey?

*****: … I did the post. I had to get water for flowers. One day I went to the editorial room because there were photos from a party… and the editor couldn’t be expected to look at photo’s without names on… so that was my job. I tried to work out who everyone was. I had to organise deliveries. Ring up PR people.

Interns Anonymous: Did you feel like you benefitted from your time there? Was it a learning curve?

*****: It was and it wasn’t. I shouldn’t be so snooty about it. It’s very prestigious. It’s an insight into that world.

Interns Anonymous: But have you benefitted from it?

*****: It’s a good thing to say I’ve done. People ask me if it’s glamorous… but its not really.

Interns Anonymous: How did you get it?

*****: A friend who worked there. They take it so seriously. She said come along, they need someone in the beauty department.

Interns Anonymous: And you enjoyed it?

*****: Yes, it was very entertaining. It would be worth going back just to hear more of the stuff they talked about. Once I was in the fashion room sorting out press releases. They were talking about people they could feature and one of them said “they’re not rich enough.”

Interns Anonymous: Brilliant… thank you *******

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Interns Anonymous

We want this website to be a forum for interns to share their experiences and discuss the ethics of unpaid employment. Most importantly, we want this site to be a place where YOU can tell us your story.


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