In other news, Vogue is no longer accepting interns. Actually, Vogue, Lucky, Glamour, Vanity Fair, W, The New Yorker, Teen Vogue, Allure and Womenswear Daily will no longer be offering internship programs come 2014. According to WWD, all of the Condé Nast-owned publications are ceasing to accept interns thanks to the lawsuit brought forth by Lauren Ballinger, an intern at W in 2009, and Matthew Leib, who worked at The New Yorker in 2009 and 2010. That lawsuit is still pending in the Southern district of New York.
It seems that Condé Nast’s attempts to revamp their internship program (think: enforcing stricter regulations that limited the hours interns could work, providing a semester stipend, and ensuring that students were partaking in job-related tasks, not personal errands), didn’t work out for the media giant, and it is putting a stop to internships altogether.
What does this mean for wannabe journalists, editors, and Anne Hathaway in the Devil Wear Prada girls? Well, you’re going to have to intern somewhere else, obviously, and chances are, Hearst, which owns almost all of the other major fashion publications, isn’t in the market for interns either.
But aside from that, this shift away from interns to paid employees is going to raise the bar, as salaries are now involved. The new anti-intern regime is likely going to result in higher standards for new hires, and thus, it will likely be more difficult than it already is to get your foot in the door to the fashion industry. Instead of using interns, these magazines (and others) will hire people, which means they will be more selective.
They are going to hire people with solid experience, both internship experience and paid work experience. So, while it seems that the interns who filed suit against Condé Nast have won, they may have actually just made it more difficult for themselves (certainly!) and their peers to follow their dreams, so to speak, especially since most industry insiders cite interning as the number one way to break into fashion. Thoughts?