Just weeks after one of their employees was accused of some pretty horrific racism, Alexander McQueen is once more under fire for their internal policies.
This time, HuffPo UK reports that the company posted a listing for an unpaid internship at the University of the Arts London, pissing off the student union president.
The alleged posting, sent by a studio manager to several fashion and design institutions, spoke of an “urgent” need of a “talented knitwear student” for six to 11 months. Potential interns would work nine and a half hour days, five days a week–and “flexibility is necessary”–in exchange for travel expenses and £60 a month ($91.50 at current exchange rate) in lunch vouchers.
The irony, of course, is that the Univeristy of the Arts London is where McQueen himself went to school. And while unpaid internships of this kind are standard here, they’re illegal in the UK.
Student body president Shelly Asquith wrote an angry letter to the company in response to their listing, which was then passed on to a group representing UK interns called Intern Aware. “In your latest collection, a twill-woven jacket costs £8,930,” she writes. “It is a bitter irony that this is almost as much as the amount of fees a student who may have made it is paying in course fees each year.”
But Alexander McQueen says it’s all a misunderstanding. “The advertisement in question was issued in error and was not in accordance with our HR policy, for which we apologise,” a spokesperson said to HuffPo UK, continuing, “In line with UK government guidance, Alexander McQueen has a strict policy of only accepting interns where the student is required to complete a placement as part of their higher or further education studies.”