Fashion Internships – a Fashion Faux Pas?

Alternative-fashion-week--001For the student or graduate of fashion, it would be fair to say breaking into the London fashion scene is high up on the ‘to-do’ list.  Alongside Paris, Milan and New York, London claims the title of being one of the fashion capitals of the world, harbouring some of the most sought-after designers and never failing to produce fresh talent each year from some of the most prestigious fashion schools and colleges.  It’s such a highly sought-after career path that it seems like the young and inexperienced are willing to undergo exploitation in order to secure their dream job.

An article written by Jamie Elliott and published in the Guardian details the dream-turned-nightmare of an intern at Alexander McQueen, who was forced to work strenuously for long hours every day, enduring 8 months of unpaid work before deciding to quit.  Not only had he regularly been working seven days a week and doing tasks fit for actual employees, but he soon realised that there was realistically no chance of him ever gaining full employment.  His account is a chilling reminder that there are some companies out there who are more than willing to exploit their interns, unfairly subjecting them to the same working conditions and targets as actual employees, or sometimes even worse.

If you are looking for a fashion internship, fear not!  This is by no means ‘the norm’ and you should not feel disheartened by stories such as these.  There are always fantastic internships available which will feed your passion for fashion without the accompanying horror story.  Poppy, who completed a fashion internship through Inspiring Interns and is now a fashion designer at Timex Fashion 2, spoke about her experience as a fashion intern: “I learnt so much during my time there. I was able to build on my interpersonal skills, gain and expand my knowledge about the whole fashion industry, as well as widen my career prospects within the sector”.  Read her testimonial and a whole range of others at

Using a reputable internship agency is a safe way to ensure your work experience is a beneficial undertaking.  At Inspiring Interns we advertise a number of fashion internships, and we thoroughly check the companies beforehand to make sure that our interns’ experiences will be fair and non-exploitative, as well as being genuinely worthwhile.  We strive to provide internships which will lead to full-time employment, seeing the three-month period as a means to an end rather than an end in itself.  Take a look at our website at for the latest vacancies to see if anything takes your fancy.