We received the following from Canadian interns who want to expose Vancouver Fashion Week for the mass-intern-exploitation-event that it is- or seems to be. The more comments we could get about this the better, we want to know if any of you guys have heard about this or know someone who can back up their story. If all of what they say is true (it sounds depressingly likely) we also want to know what the good people of Vancouver are going to do about it!
Have a look at Vancouver Fashion Weak’s website. It has statements from many of us, and more will come. There are detailed explanations of peoples’ experience in their internship. The post was not intended to defame, this is clear abuse of the internship program and a backlash from the students.
We don’t know much about the legality of our situation but we know what is happening is wrong. Basically, we all became interns with Vancouver Fashion Week without realizing that the organization is structured in two parts, with one producer who incorporated the name Vancouver Fashion Week, and over 100+ interns.
There is no management or structure within the company, no accountants or budget, and we are given tasks beyond our capabilities and manage each other based on who interviewed first. Because of this, there is a turn around of interns daily and weekly, with many of us given the responsibility to ‘interview and hire’ another barrage of interns. Also, we are expected to recruit and take money from designers & sponsors without any information on even a location for fashion week this fall and we are all very worried.
We are in a position where we cannot even discuss these issues within the organization, because there isn’t one with employees who could help us except for the producer. A past ‘intern’ wrote her Masters thesis on VFW a couple years back, which will paint a clearer picture for you.