Just when you thought the Olsen Twins were riding high, 40 interns come to bring them down.
According to the New York Daily News, 40 past and current interns have filed a class-action suit against the designers, claiming they never received payment for long hours and tedious work. “I was doing the work of three interns. I was talking to her all day, all night. Emails at nighttime for the next day, like 10 p.m. at night,” former design intern Shahista Lalani claims.
Lalani says she worked a 50-hour work week doing tasks like inputting data, sorting buttons, photocopying, running errands and making tech sheets — all without pay. “You’re like an employee, except you’re not getting paid. They’re kind of mean to you. Other interns have cried. I’d see a lot of kids crying doing coffee runs, photocopying stuff.”
It’s important to note that Lalani said she only saw Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen a few times and that they were very nice.
Dualstar Entertainment Group representative Annett Wolf has responded to the claims with a statement. “As an initial matter, Dualstar is an organization that is committed to treating all individuals fairly and in accordance with all applicable laws,” Wolf wrote to USA TODAY. “The allegations in the complaint filed against Dualstar are groundless, and Dualstar will vigorously defend itself against plaintiff’s claims in court, not before the media. Dualstar is confident that once the true facts of this case are revealed, the lawsuit will be dismissed in its entirety.”
Dualstar is the parent company of the Olsen’s two labels, The Row and Elizabeth and James.
Of course this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about complaints from interns who work in the fashion industry. Hearst, Condé Nast and Donna Karen International have all faced lawsuits from former interns.