You may have heard by now that come 2014, Condé Nast will officially end its intern program. As an alum of the soon-to-be-retired program I have to admit it’s kind of sad, like when your favorite park closes or your grammar school shuts down to make room for the high school’s expansion.
I have so many fond memories from my interning days at Condé and I swear that’s not sarcastic. After two weeks of sufficient hazing — garment bag shlepping, Starbucks runs (I can actually still tell you how three very important editors take theirs, late nights and early mornings) — I had a come-to-Stanley Tucci moment where I realized that I could either hate my life and complain, or I could realize that I had the internship a million girls would kill for. As soon as my epiphany occurred it was like the heavens opened and the sun shown down and I realized fashion was one big game of Darwinism and I cried “Gloria Gaynor have mercy on my soul because I will SURVIVE!” And I did. And look where I am now.
But what about the interns who will no longer be able to have those make-it-or-break-it moments? What about the girls and boys who applied this past summer in hopes of making it in to the winter program? Where will all the interns go?
I picture a few scenarios, all heart wrenching and whatnot because I’m just feeling really Charles Dickens-y today.
The first is just this Oliver Twist-like hall of all the kids walking around in rags, their tattered loin cloths a shredded memory of what had once been Brand New Clothes they purchased for a now-defunct internship. “Please sir,” one of them might say with big, watery eyes as they hold up an old Prada shoe to the clerk at Barneys, “May I have some more?”
The second is that they all go off to Neverland and join Rufio’s clan of Lost Boys. They’ll hang out with Thud Butt and Don’t Ask, Pockets and Too Small. The interns will be never have to grow up and yet, they’ll never know rush of entering 4 Times Square as a glorified messenger, either.
And then, maybe because it’s almost Halloween and my brain is just on this really creepy track lately, I can’t help but picture the interns actually not leaving Condé Nast. I picture them hiding out in the walls or under desks, crawling out only after lights off and having giant dance parties wherein they dress up in all the clothes and shoes set up for shoots and then run around like maniacs searching for crumbs from leftover birthday cupcakes. Each morning when all the editors arrive it will be as if nothing ever happened save for an odd patch of glitter that someone assumes must just be from an old Miu Miu sandal.
In reality the interns will be fine — they’ll go on to fantastic things and some will most likely end up at Condé Nast one day.
But in twenty years if you close your eyes on a cold October night and the city decides to shut the fuck up for ten seconds, you’ll be able to hear a faint voice on a breeze coming off the Hudson river. “I think I left the Chanel on the subway,” it will softly whisper. The Ghost of Interns Past.
— Amelia Diamond