Turns out The Devil Wears Prada wasn’t far off the mark with its portrayal of how fashion assistants are really treated.
In case you’ve forgotten, magazine editor Miranda Priestly orders her assistant Andy Sachs to complete impossible tasks including a request to get a copy of the *unpublished* Harry Potter manuscript for her children because they want to know “what happens next”.
An Instagram account called FashionAssistants is sharing former and current fashion intern and assistant's real Miranda Priestly horror stories and OH GOD. In fact, some make the 2006 film's antics look tame.
The account biography reads: "Intern 1 no name: Chasing broken dreams."
Stories include being told to fudge receipts so editors can keep shoot budgets, not just not being paid but actually being owed money and working ridiculous hours.
"When I was a full time assistant for a large stylist, unfortunately someone in my family died and I had to go abroad. I only asked for three days off and I was made to feel like I asked for a month. When I was away including the day of the funeral I would receive emails... when I didn't reply they would text and call me until I answered... despite being very clear I had to be out of office and even found a cover for my time out," one anonymous message posted reads.
Another recalled being on set for an editorial shoot when the stylist, after being locked outside due to it being after hours, began "chaotically kicking and throwing things around."
"Unfortunately one of those things thrown at my direction was a pair of knee high [Christian] Louboutin boots," they said. Ouch.
"In a rush on set, my boss often grabs the clothes off the hanger, removes the hanger and throws the hanger in my direction often hitting my face," another wrote.
Another had an ironing pebble thrown at them.
Another shared how her boss banned people eating food in front of her.
"She wouldn't allow anyone to eat in front of her on set or in her office while you're trying to prep HER shoot... food is basic for survival and she absolutely banned it," they wrote.
Of course, this is already seriously unacceptable behaviour in a workplace but it also gets worse.
The account shares multiple stories of people being verbally abused and even sexually harassed by their bosses.
One anonymous contributor was working on a shoot with a big celebrity when the stylist she was assisting asked her to charge her phone in her car.
"I came back and reported to her that the charger was broken. In front of the ENTIRE crew and celeb, she threw her phone on the ground, broke it, and yelled that thanks to me her friends was now going to kill himself and it would be all my fault because I couldn't charge her phone," she wrote.
"She also constantly told me I was fat and ugly and never going to make it, and when I left the job she said I was dumber than when I started. I worked for her for free for nine months when I was 18. Never even reimbursed for gas."
The Instagram account appears to have been a humorous account sharing fashion related memes until earlier this year, when it changed focus.
"I was approached and asked to help create a platform for people to anonymously open up about abuse they have suffered from in the fashion industry," a post shared on February 8th reads.
"The #MeToo [movement] started amazingly but sadly due to sexual abuse suffered at the hands of the industry big players and we want to offer a space where people can share and connect the stories they have unfortunately witnessed and experienced.
"Humour has always been our go to in order to get through the tough times but now it's a time to get serious."
In a direct message, the admins of the account told Refinery 29 what they wanted to achieve.
"Other movements got the conversation started and quite rapidly saw change within the industries. We've got people – sadly, but appropriately – referencing The Devil Wears Prada, discussing what needs to change. So many messages of support and questions about how we can work together to unionise have arisen, or how we can set up a platform where agencies can help with problems, abuse, late payments etc."
While many in the comments call for naming and shaming, the admins are sticking to anonymity.
"This is not a burn book, per se (ok it kind of is, it's an anonymous burn book) the aim is not watch the industry crumble but to get the conversation about bullying started, which it has," one caption reads.
"Plus, we still need a job after all of this."
Have you had any experiences like this in the workplace?