Sunday, 25 July 2010

Fashion Intern or slave?

The Guardian had a thought provoking and invaluable article concerning the use of intern-ships in the fashion industry this weekend.

Now not all intern work is bad and some companies have a wonderful system and structure. And it is not just the fashion industry that has an enormous pool of 'free' labour. The TV and film industries have exploited this for years.

The problem is it is completely unregulated and experiences are varied. Equally an intern-ship is no guarantee of a job nor does it constitute valid experience particularly when everyone else has done it.

When I was a 'yuff' it was called work experience or blagging yourself a gig. Disneyrollergirl ran a very useful post on how to break into the industry but again it is no guarantee of a job!


  1. from speaking to some of the grads and interns in marketing it just sounds tough - it's even harder now to get even an entry level job and so people have no choice but to work for free in the hope of getting a job. when everyone axed their grad schemes during the recession this is the result they brought on.

  2. My Claudia has secured herself some fab work experience for two weeks this summer, I am so excited for her! I'd do it now at my age if I could, I would clean Anna Wintours shoes with my tongue LOL x (I wouldn't really).

  3. I just read that article too and you're right it's not just the fashion industry, it's 13 years since I was a design graduate and I worked for free for a year before luckily scooping a paid junior designer job. I think if you want it enough you will do whatever it takes, but unfortunately there are always going to be those who will take advantage of that.

  4. In academia they call them PhD graduates ;-) I am expected to do things for free all the time, it might look good for my CV but it certainly doesn't for my bank balence. I am pretty much working full time for nothing, in fact minus nothing if you count past tuition fees. I really dont think any one should be expected to work for free, I think interns should be paid at least minimum wage, they work so hard often without even a thank you. BTW Red mag has an adult intern competition going for a months paid internships with soem great companies!

    p.s so glad you made the short list x

  5. Random fact, did you know just for a basic sales assistant job at Burberry you need to have a second language!!

  6. Aaaah yes, the coveted internship... so true what you say about the vast variety of different experiences this can entail!


  7. Just a quick one regarding Pearls comment about Burberry, my eldest daughter has a friend who used to attend her dance classes who is as thick as two short planks and can hardly speak the Queens english let alone a second language but she works in Burberry in Bond St!

  8. Us Elle magazine really exploits this intern process.

    Also, unless you have some financial help from parents, or whatever, you can't do it, which always made the whole thing seem biased against those w/o any financial support.


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