Oscar de la Renta, Balenciaga & Valentino Auctioning Off Internships

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Oscar de la Renta, Balenciaga & Valentino Auctioning Off Internships
The Devil Wears…Oscar de la Renta, Balenciaga, M Missoni, and Valentino.

That’s what this whole backward concept, for charity no less, comes across as: a satirical comedy that sounds too ridiculous to be true. Apparently, paying to not get paid and sending a “money over talent” message is in this season. It’s like, all the rage.

Partnered up with global charity auction site charitybuzz.com, these unpaid work opportunities will give students aged 18+, currently enrolled in an accredited university course, placement in the fashion houses’ sales, press, merchandising departments for up to a month-long—in the case of Oscar de la Renta’s, for the grand experience-gaining total of seven whole days. They’re valued at $10,000 each with the final proceeds benefitting New York charity Rosie’s Theatre Kids, which aims to improve lives through arts education. Before you ask, no, none of these labels will be matching the dollar amount of the final bid. They’re clearly doing enough.

If these fashion houses really wanted to improve lives through arts education, offer these internships for free (pause: I can’t believe I actually had to write “internships for free” because aren’t they always?!) to aspiring industry professionals who are at-risk, can’t afford a university degree, and may otherwise actually benefit from a foot through the door that could improve lives through arts education. Not by glamorizing the chance to fetch Valentino’s coffee.

I don’t know how this is going to fare on the top bidder’s prospective resume in the job market. So you show up at a future interview, slide it over to your potential boss, who notices and says, “Wow, Balenciaga, that’s great! What do you think made you stand out there above all the other candidates?” “Um, the IQ of my trust fund?”

If I had an intern, he/she’d be setting up meetings at Bravo for us right now because I think we might have next summer’s “Gallery Girls” on our hands. While we’re at it, a meeting with Ben Stiller too. I think we just found the subplot for his sequel to Zoolander. Except I have a little problem here: How am I supposed to get an intern if I don’t already have an intern to set up the Kickstarter fundraiser I need to get one first? Let me ask, M Missoni how I can make it work.

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