February 28, 2012

Travailler gratuitement...

Can we all agree that Matt Purcell (pictured left, photo by Sacha Stejkois an epic babe? I don't in anyway claim to be an expert on models and their careers BUT I do know a babe when I see one! 

Tonight at the first collection show of NZFF his pretty face walked the catwalk for several collections and even caused Myken Stewart to tap me on the shoulder to agree with my sighs that his hair is amazing! 

Big congratulations to the team at New Zealand Fashion Festival for such a slick event. The collection show tonight was perfectly timed, well executed and had both a fun but professional atmosphere. I must admit I was a little cautious stepping into the public world of fashion (my experience so far has been of wild behavior at the famous Designer Garage Sales at New Zealand Fashion Week) but tonight was a blast. 

If you are interested in checking out the action there are still some tickets available to some shows and seminars over on iTicket.

Earlier in the night I attended Jenene Crossan's "5 Simple Steps to become a Magazine Editor". She shared some good pointers (write every day, be passionate, define your area of interest) and some thoughts that have left me both agitated and challenged. 

Jenene encouraged the audience to write for free. I am very cautious of this advice. While unpaid internships and the opportunities to get your work published are amazing they need to be understood with the general picture of the publication in mind. 

I am concerned with the way that many business models across a variety of industries (mainly creative ones) rely on free labour as part of their business model. I think being part of a start up company/publication and offering your services for free while the business grows is a great opportunity to be there from the beginning and have a contributing voice to the development of a new venture. I think offering to cover an event for a publication for free by way of a trial shows a go-get-em attitude and a way to prove to a publication you understand their voice and their readers. Like an audition for the job you want in their company. 

However, I am becoming increasingly frustrated with businesses that are turning large profits, hiring interns/free labour as a "service to the community". Design houses across the world do it and the print world is no different. I was shocked to hear that several big couture houses take on extra interns during show season (without hope of a job at the end of the internship) to avoid paying for extra labour costs during busy times. 

It's a hard balance between getting the experience you need in your industry and earning a livable wage. On the one hand you need to learn the ropes and become attractive to future employers BUT bills have to be paid. If you are starting out in your industry I hope these words will give you something to think about as you look for experience and internships.