Since rising to stardom as adorable child actors, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have conquered the fashion world. Their two clothing lines, Elizabeth and James and The Row, are wildly successful and interns are flocking to be a part of their empire.
But, if you’re interested in interning in fashion, you might want to think twice before working for the Olsen twins, if this new lawsuit holds any merit. Filed by 40 former interns of The Row, the lawsuit claims that Mary Kate and Ashley offer no pay or college credit, and basically run their interns into the ground.
The lead plaintiff, Shahista Lalani, described having to deal with a demanding supervisor while interning at The Row:
“I was doing the work of three interns. I was talking to her all day, all night. E-mails at nighttime for the next day, like 10 p.m. at night,” she said.
The heavy workload even caused Shahista to seek medical help for dehydration, she continues:
“It was like 100 degrees outside. I’d just be sweating to death. I probably carried like 50 pounds worth of trench coats.”
And others were brought to tears:
“They’re kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried. I’d see a lot of kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff.”
All together, Shahista claims to have worked 50 hours per week as an intern while not being paid a single dime. Mary-Kate and Ashley’s company rep shot back at the accusations with the following statement:
“The allegations in the complaint filed against Dualstar are groundless, and Dualstar will vigorously defend itself against plaintiff’s claims in court, not before the media. Dualstar is confident that once the true facts of this case are revealed, the lawsuit will be dismissed in its entirety.”
Could MK&A actually be evil fashion overlords? We shall see…