April 29, 2010

If you've ever wondered why something costs so much...

Another great mini article from the New York Times called "Why Does This Pair of Pants Cost $550?" A great read even if the issue is oversimplified. The bottom line? It pays to know what you are willing to pay extra for (for me, great materials and fit) and what you might not care about (a logo, perchance).
EVEN in a season when designers made no secret about reining in prices to appeal to the newly chastened luxury consumer, it is still possible to walk into a store and wonder what exactly they were thinking when a pair of khaki cotton pants — right there on the hanger, no special packaging or 3G plan or anything — can cost as much as an iPad.

April 27, 2010

Everything old is new again

I saw this Vogue UK editorial from March 2008 by Mario Testino and it reminded me of this May 2009 Teen Vogue editorial that was also shot in Cusco, Peru....not sure what to think! Love them both but am curious to if there is any other way to show off this amazing city!


Ps. Randomly, I just happened meet and work with Lily Donaldson (one of the models in the Vogue UK story) for a job last week, and she is that gorgeous in person.

April 20, 2010

Teen Choice

It's been a really crazy week with shoots and ad jobs and what not. Stressful.

But what do we think of the latest Teen Vogue editorial? I love that this is being seen by teenage (and college-age) girls across the United States! Pretty edgy.

April 17, 2010

Oh, actually there's this volcano ash situation...

There's nothing quite like requesting (then following up...and eventually out right begging) successfully for some fancy runway samples from London, Paris, and Milan for a fashion shoot...and then finding out that all your packages are stuck due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland. What?

I tracked one package yesterday, and the latest status said "Delay - Natural Disaster." Just the perfect thing to end this crazy week with.

April 9, 2010

Time Out

It's been a very tough week. I guess it's the nature of the business, and I need to get over it. But in the meanwhile, going to take a few days off to sort out my feelings.

See you guys next week.

April 8, 2010

Another must read blog

When I look at the other graduates from my year, and other ex-colleagues from the industry, I see that nearly everyone is either a slave to the industry, or has chosen to have a life, which means a much more modest profession in fashion.
Searching for Style, my latest must-read addition to my Google reader feed. A Canadian and former designer at Sonia Rykiel, the author has really thoughtful and fun commentary on the fashion industry, and life after it (or at least outside of its world centers).

Shoe Lust

I'm looking forward to buying these shoes from Finsk from Oak in the US!!
These others are just prototypes, but so amazing. Love!
(All photos via Searching for Style)

Italian Match

I'm loving the colors and beauty elements in this athletic story from Vogue Italia, which was photographed by Craig McDean and styled by his wife Tabitha Simmons.

April 7, 2010

Extra baggage

Loving this art piece by Michael Johannson.

Researching South American destinations for a whirlwind vacation in May...can't wait! Last year we hiked the Inca trail, but this year should be a little less adventurous.

Plus ça change

Of course, the saying is really "Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" but it looks like sometimes change can actually happen within a corporation, and rather quickly! 

Just days following the New York Times article on unpaid internships that I blogged about over the weekend, Mediabistro reports that Atlantic Media (home of The Atlantic and National Journal) has "decided it will provide pay for all its interns. In fact, the company has decided to retroactively pay last year's interns, worried that their former program fell into a legal 'gray area.'"

Amazing. Let's see if this is where it ends.

April 3, 2010

The Issue of Unpaid Internships

When I read this article at nytimes.com today, entitled "Growth of Unpaid Internships May Be Illegal, Officials Say," I immediately considered the ramifications for the fashion and publishing industries. Essentially, the article states that:
With job openings scarce for young people, the number of unpaid internships has climbed in recent years, leading federal and state regulators to worry that more employers are illegally using such internships for free labor...To be sure, many internships involve some unskilled work, but when the jobs are mostly drudgery, regulators say, it is clearly illegal not to pay interns.
My good friend Danielle over at Final Fashion has already blogged about breaking into the fashion industry and the issue of internships, and I stated my opinions on the issue when she interviewed me for that post.

What I do think is interesting about this news article is the government's attempt to really crack down on the use of interns as "free labor," which I think is more common in creative industries with lower knowledge-based barriers to entry such as fashion and film. (I always found it outrageous when my business, math and engineering friends made more money on their internships than I could expect to make as an entry-level worker in the creative industries, but that's another story for another day!)

While I have learned so much from the designer studio and fashion magazine internships that I have been able to do, I can understand how the industry's reliance on unpaid interns could be problematic, especially when I look at certain independent magazines' editorial mastheads and notice that there are more interns than employees listed.
One Ivy League student said she spent an unpaid three-month internship at a magazine packaging and shipping 20 or 40 apparel samples a day back to fashion houses that had provided them for photo shoots.
The question is, of course, whether this time spent shipping samples was educational or an example of a company taking advantage of "free labor," and the issue is more nuanced than it may first appear. For example, how educational and beneficial an internship is to an individual depends on their circumstances going into it, the corporate stance on interns (disposable or a resource to be nurtured and eventually hired), and the individual intern's supervisor's commitment to mentoring and teaching on the job. Perhaps this Ivy League student was learning about the editorial process and allowed to assist on photo shoots whenever she wasn't doing returns! (And for the record, 20 or 40 samples per day is a fairly slow pace, and she was lucky not to be physically schlepping samples around the city!)

In any case, it will be interesting to see how regulators will process with this issue. Already, in the past five years I've noticed that most internships now require college credit (to provide and confirm that educational slant), which is great in theory...but in practice means that some students feel as if they are actually "paying" (for the school credit or internship course) to intern for free, and recent graduates who didn't attend school in an urban area and don't have a dozen internships on their resume are unable to gain much needed experience to be more competitive.

What do you think about unpaid internships in general (not just in fashion)? 

(Note: Fashion magazine closet image via.)