Instagram Account Exposes Abuse in the Fashion Workplace

andy sachs.jpg

When one thinks of starting out in the fashion industry, countless stories, TV shows, and movies come to mind. From the famous line “A million girls would kill for this job” to the parodied, ridiculous obligations Andy Sachs had to endure for editor Miranda Priestly in famously known film The Devil Wears Prada, the process of earning recognition by burning oneself out to meet impossible demands has become a common work experience and can sometimes result in normalizing what in reality might be abuse. While long hours and getting coffee is one thing, the emotional and sometimes physical abuse stories that are being submitted to anonymous Instagram account, @fashionassistants, are entirely another.

What once was solely a meme account is now posting submissions of former fashion assistants or interns and their stories of mistreatment and abuse in their fashion workplace. It’s a lot to take in, as victims of these stories ranging from fat-shaming to sexual harassment told Business of Fashion that “as a result of their treatment, some were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after their left their job and needed ongoing therapy. Two were hospitalized. Some reported resulting in eating disorders as well as drug and alcohol use to cope with anxiety.”

Here are some samples: