We’ve all experienced a Devil Wears Prada-esque ‘cerulean’ moment, hailed the unpaid victors of fashion cupboards when they’ve come out a lawsuit, ‘salary’ in tow, and agonised over the dark and ugly side of being overworked, often for zero pay.
But not even a year’s worth of fashion returns could prove as soul-shattering for the next generation of fashion industry wannabreakers, as this: Fed up with getting sued by ex-interns, Condé Nast is scrapping its hugely popular but oversubscribed internship programme. It’s OK, we shed a tear too.
For those of us who’ve paid our dues on the fashion front-line (not to be confused with the front row), often working until well past close of play (that term is pretty meaningless in the fashion industry); we understand the damning effect getting rid of such a sought after internship programme – which, although unfortunately unpaid in most instances, is still vital for getting that all important foot in the door – will have.
But, there is hope. Instead of wallowing in the loss of your (future) intern title, why not check out our five plus points to CN seeing off its famous internships below? They might just put a smile back on your face:
Break the ‘glossy monopoly’
Sweating it because you haven’t got any of the major glossies on your CV? We think, that by removing the permanently oversubscribed system of taking on interns mainly during academic holidays, it’ll help to break down the stereotype of ‘If you haven’t Vogue’d/Tatler’d/GQ’d, you haven’t lived’, not to mention take the pressure off students and young fashion enthusiasts to flock to London, often with very little money, to live the dream, one painstaking summer at a time.
Give independents a chance
With a flurry of fabulous regional and London/NY-based independent magazines rising up the publishing ranks – usually featuring awe-inspiring editorials and features executed on much smaller budgets – taking the emphasis off the big dogs, future interns will gain a more varied perspective of the fashion and journalism world.
With several internships at big magazines requiring full-time interns, maybe heading to a smaller magazine could mean more flexibility with working hours, and meatier work to cut your teeth on? After all, a fashion cupboard rammed with five interns and too much Prada can fast become toxic ground for fashion envy on so many levels.
More ‘real’ jobs that pay
As Fashionista’s Cheryl Wischhover quite importantly pointed out, scrapping internships could possibly make way for more entry-level or assistant jobs, which, could in turn, prove useful in the current employment climate. Although these types of roles are often acquired through several months, even years of hard interning; we think CN’s move could possibly call for a shake up of fashion related courses at universities and colleges, increasing the pressure on careers services to help students look into unconventional avenues of gaining experience that’ll help them outshine the competition.
Create new fashion cities
Well, this one may sound a little ambitious, but it’s possible. In the UK, if e-commerce giant, my-wardrobe.com can see sense in posting out the majority of its London functions to leafy Nottingham and ASOS can choose Birmingham to recruit for a batch of top-level roles, then what’s to stop magazines catching regional fever? Although, we highly suspect the major glossies will never venture north, interns flocking to regional fashion magazines and other, fashion-related establishments, could give rise to the next crop of notable fashion cities – even on the other side of the pond.
What are your thoughts on Condé Nast’s move?