Will Vogue’s new Editor help end unpaid fashion internships?

Vogue internship fashion

EDWARD ENNINFUL HAS SAID DIVERSITY IN FASHION MUST EXTEND TO INTERNS, AS WELL AS MODELS

Desperate to work in fashion – but can’t afford to work for free? Good news! Graduate Fog can confirm that the new Editor of UK Vogue – one of the biggest jobs in UK fashion – is an advocate of fair, inclusive internships. Will he use his influence to help fashion kick its grubby addiction to unpaid internships? And is the downtrodden fashionista’s hashtag #devilpaysnada about to become obsolete? Suddenly, the impossible seems possible.

Ghanaian-born Edward Enninful, who grew up in London’s Ladbroke Grove, was announced yesterday as Alexandra Shulman’s replacement at the helm of fashion’s most famous glossy magazine from 1 August 2017. He has previously spoken publicly about the need for fashion to be more diverse, including its internships, telling the audience at a talk last year:

“If you put one model in a show or in an ad campaign, that doesn’t solve the problem. We need teachers in universities, we need internships, we need people of different ethnic backgrounds in all parts of the industry. That really is the solution; you have to change it from the inside.”

LOW-KEY: Enninful had not yet updated his Twitter bio with his new job title

LOW-KEY: Enninful has not yet updated his Twitter bio with his new job title

We are not aware that Enninful has ever specified that fashion internships must be paid in order to be fair and inclusive.

(By ‘paid’ we mean at least the National Minimum Wage. Not just expenses. Or bylines, or ‘experience’, or CV kudos, or lipsticks…)

However, we are hopeful that in voicing this opinion (rarely heard in the fashion world, famous for its astonishing sense of entitlement to free labour), Enninful understands what Graduate Fog’s readers know only too well: that in order to be fair and inclusive, internships must be paid. Fashion Foggers, watch this space…

* CAN EDWARD ENNINFUL SHIFT FASHION’S ATTITUDE TO INTERNSHIPS?
Will the industry finally be shamed into ending its reliance on young, unpaid workers?  Or is free labour simply too entrenched in the fashion world for this ever to change? Share your views below…

Don’t forget to follow @GraduateFog on Twitter!