Fashion house Alexander McQueen has come under fire for its advertisement of an 11 month, full-time unpaid internship.
Shelly Asquith, president of the University of the Arts London’s student union, sent an angry letter to McQueen, in which she accused the company of ‘using and abusing’ fashion students.
A McQueen studio manager sent out an ad soliciting applications from ‘talented knitwear students’ for an internship to last between six and 11 months, for which they would receive travel expenses and just £3 per day in lunch vouchers.
Ms Asquith noted in her letter that a knitwear jacket in McQueen’s latest collection costs £8,930 – almost as much as a year’s worth of tuition fees.
She said: ‘I found this of particular concern because of the length of time the company is asking someone to work unpaid for. Usually internships are for a couple of weeks or months, which is still illegal of course – but 11 months is extortionate.’
A spokesperson for McQueen has issued an apology, claiming the ad had meant to stipulate that the position was for a work placement – to be completed as part of one’s studies – and not an internship.
Looking to complete a student internship? Read our article ‘Unpaid internships: are they legal?’ to ensure you know your rights.
You can also apply for paid internship and work placement opportunities right here on Inside Careers.