Talking point: will unpaid fashion internships ever really end?

By Bibby Sowray The issue of unpaid internships has never been more visible, particularly in the fashion industry. In the last year, British fashion house Alexander McQueen has twice found itself in hot water because of them (read more about that here and here), while Condé Nast’s US wing has shuttered its intern programme in the wake of two former interns bringing lawsuits against them for improper payment. Meanwhile, Arcadia – the parent company of Topshop and Miss Selfridge – has been forced by HMRC to retrospectively pay former interns who worked for free in the company’s press offices minimum wage, along with 199 other companies targeted by the non-ministerial department during a recent crackdown. “There was one girl who made a complaint,” Arcadia helmsman Sir Philip Green recently told the Evening Standard. “This girl has spoilt it for thousands of people. We had 300 or 400 kids interning, now it’s about 30.” Read the entire article here: http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/columns/bibby-sowray/TMG10703515/Talking-point-will-unpaid-fashion-internships-ever-really-end.html

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