The Maverick and I spoke yesterday about Grazia’s latest intern – Made in Chelsea’s most normal resident, Millie Mackintosh – and while the Maverick has shared her side of the chat, I thought I’d share my own because it’s the unlikely side of the argument that I found myself falling on…
You see, I actually commend Grazia for executing a brilliant PR campaign and one that should have wannabe fashion and style journos starry-eyed with ambition.
Every so often I’m reminded that for all those feature writers, front line war correspondents and backstage style bloggers who we read about with such envy and admiration, there is also a whole host of advertisers and money men whose job it is to prop them up.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the literary flair of this industry that people sometimes fail to see that it is just that… an industry, and one that needs to make money.
By ‘hiring’ Millie Mackintosh as their newest intern, Grazia have demonstrated how to use celebrity and media-trend to your financial advantage, and as journalists who wouldn’t like to always write for free, we should be taking a leaf out of their oh-so-glossy book.
I won’t bore you with all that spiel about the rise of reality TV; partly because there isn’t anyone who doesn’t know how it works and who works it. #TOWIE, #MIC and #geordieshore rule the Twitter roost so dominantly (Caggie Dunlop, of Made in Chelsea was trending worldwide during the series’ finale) that the show’s producers see fit to engage the audience during breaks. You can follow an entire show without actually watching it, via the throng of live Twitter updates.
So there goes Millie, star of a show that’s a social media pipe-bomb, fronting the magazine – go figure how that’s going to get shared… Oh, and what does our beloved intern wear to work? Hot-off-the-hangar pieces from the most-want stores – looks like everyone’s laughing.
But beyond the bunse, hiring Millie is also doing good things for our younger, perhaps more influential journalists. I’ll agree with the Maverick’s sentiment that a celebrity intern is not always an accurate portrayal of life as a real fashion & style intern. But the desire, envy and sheer enthusiasm that shows like The City, The Hills and Running in Heels garner far eclipses the harsh reality that fashion interns might be doing some of the most administrative jobs in the industry.
As our beloved Maverick stated:
“I won’t have been the first person to have seen The Devil Wears Prada and felt wide-eyed and gushy and slightly jealous.”
Remember, this isn’t any old work experience placement; it’s one with a highly fashionable shelf title. Think of the fashion cupboard, the style shoots, the magazine browsing, the colourful office and the lines of shoes bordering the floor! Think of the younger journos (not just my sister) looking on with utter amazement that one of their favourite celebrities is working for a magazine they love and dream to work for. Even I’ll admit a pang of inspiration when I saw Olivia Palermo scaling the back stages of fashion shows all over the world.
And I’m sorry, but Camilla Mackintosh will garner more attention, ad space and traffic than if I took up the placement. Sure, it’d make for great Wannabe Hacks content, and signal an admirable step for Grazia in hiring a genuinely passionate wannabe style hack, but throw the Saturdays in Vogue or Pixie Lott into Look and you’ll see the big bucks.
And hopefully the next and youngest generation of wannabe journalists, because in this Twitter-TV climate, we can engage them in the only language they speak: Celebrity