NEW YORK, United States — Forget fringe. Accepting an unpaid internship and then suing after its completion for unpaid wages and overtime compensation is the newest movement in fashion and, as it turns out, Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen’s award-winning brand, The Row, is right on trend. The 29-year-old twins, who took home their second Council of Fashion Designers of America Award this year, are the most recent designers to be sued in connection with an unpaid internship.
According to plaintiff Shahista Lalani’s complaint, which was filed this month in New York state court, she worked for The Row for four months in 2012. Lalani claims that as the “head intern” she performed the same work as “some full-time employees,” such as photocopying, sewing, cleaning, and running personal errands, including carrying “like 50 pounds worth of trench coats” in 100-degree weather, without receiving compensation or college credit.