We all know and can list famous celebrities, big entertainment and music companies, and major fashion houses at the top of our heads.

But, do you actually know about the people and their true nature behind the scenes of all that glamour?

Millennials have accepted the duties of interning in the most demanding industries.

These duties include working extremely hard and double the hours, earning a pittance or nothing at all, just to get a foot in the door, to one day (hopefully), attain their dream jobs.

For these interns working in the industry is anything but glamorous:

Shahista Lalani was a former design intern for Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s line The Row… 


“It was like 100 degrees outside. I’d just be sweating to death. I probably carried like 50 pounds worth of trench coats.” Former intern, Lalani said.

Lalani also went on to say that she and the other interns rarely got a break.

“You’re like an employee, except you’re not getting paid,” Lalani said. “They’re kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried. I’d see a lot of kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff.”

In the court filings obtained by the New York Post, the interns alleged they worked up to 50 hours per week for months at a time for the Olsen twins. (I honestly wouldn’t be working for free then).

For a company that sells plain white T-shirts for $200 (approximately R2600) I would expect them to at least pay their interns a little something.


Then we have the music industry…

A former assistant for Lady Gaga; Jennifer L. O’Neill is suing the pop star for $400,000 (alot in Rands, that I’m not even going to attempt to convert it) claiming that she was not paid for 7,168 hours of overtime she worked from late 2009 through March of this year.

The assistant states that she “was always behind the scenes, and figuratively, if not literally, always at her side.”



Shame these poor interns.

And just a little peak into the fashion industry:

Rufus Cassidy* a 25-year-old fashion intern who took up an internship with top fashion house, Alexandra McQueen (obviously expecting to gain a glimpse and possible access into the wonderful world of fashion.)


Fashion interns say that they often outnumber paid staff and that fashion houses relied heavily on the free labour.

“Most days I worked from 8.30 in the morning until at least 2am,” he says.

“We usually worked seven days a week and some of the interns got really tired because of
the hours.”

Interns at the fashion house are asked to sign an agreement. The agreement states that interns “must obey all reasonable instructions that we give you and work such hours as are necessary to properly complete the tasks you are asked to undertake”.

This sounds like regulations that any paid worker would receive so the least they could do is give these interns a minimum wage.

The fashion, music and all these “A-list” industries appear to be swathed in glamour and any young ambitious person would do everything in their power to be working in these respect industries.

But it clearly isn’t as glamorous as it appears to be…

*names have been changed

Categories: Careers