Yet another Condé Nast intern has come forth with a story of extremely fashionable cruelty. Lisa Denmark did a tell-all with the New York Post about what she experienced at her internship with Vogue last summer and, unsurprisingly, it’s a very Miranda Priestly tale.
Lisa says she cried herself to sleep at least “three nights a week” because of the treatment she received at her internship:
“It’s not because I didn’t have the tough bones, it was because I would be scolded for not putting the tape on the mood boards correctly . . . if it stuck out a little or if there was a little bump in the corner of it, or if it wasn’t to their liking, I got in trouble.”
She says she felt “belittled,” even though an internship at Vogue was all she’d wanted:
“Vogue was the only one I had my heart [set] on. It was such a coveted role. The top of the top. The No. 1 thing you could possibly get.”
I guess Lisa didn’t get to do much actual editorial work, other than running errands and doing favors, even though she reportedly worked from 8 a.m to 8 p.m. While I don’t think traveling a few subway stops within Manhattan to fetch juice is the worst thing that could ever happen to someone (uh, #privilegedproblems), I am sympathetic to all this intern outrage, including that of former intern Diana Wang who is suing Hearst. It’s pretty clear that the system preys on young, idealistic workers and exploits them to the benefit of the already super-rich and powerful fashion industry.
Still, other former interns interviewed by the Post say they expected to work long hours doing bitch work. One said:
“If you want to work in fashion, it’s important to understand that it’s not all glamour. And we definitely learned that at Condé.”
Fair enough. But there must be a way to temper all that glamorous errand-running with some actually legitimate editorial tasks, right? It’s possible for students and recent grads to get real-world work experience without expecting them to give up their lives and self-respect.
Either way, Condé Nast has announced that they are shuttering their internship program, anyway, so no nubile young undergrads are going to get their feelings crushed by stilettos and Birkin bags next summer.
Photo: We Heart It