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- Concord, CA, USA

It starts with an internship posting on Craigslist by the owner/hiring manager/editor-in-chief (Let's use the initials EIC, editor-in-chief for short) for design students who would like to work for a fashion magazine.The biggest incentive is the chance to attend Paris Fashion Week. Meeting will be conducted in a coffee shop such as Starbucks. The EIC will meet you and present his corner at the coffee shop. The EIC will present a fake scenario; he will make it look like the other freelance writers and designers near his table are his employees. He will even introduce you to them. A red flag to watch out for is that they are busy doing their work than minding him (the EIC). You will be pushed to sign a contract which is undefined and left vague. If you are having second thoughts or request to think more about it, you will be bullied that "you are giving up on a great opportunity", "there are millions more willing to do the job" or that "maybe you are not really serious about being in the fashion business", etc.

Once you sign the contract, owner will push you to attend the meetings everyday at Starbucks, a place not fit to conduct group meetings or run a group business for 6 hours everyday. It is unfit because the other patrons are bothered by the EIC and your group's presence, and complaints are reported to the coffee shop manager who gives warnings to the EIC.

In regards to work, the EIC will make you feel guilty or bullies that you aren't spending more time doing work, even if you have devoted most of your time to the internship while having to work to earn money to make ends meet. The EIC will often spew sexist jokes, will talk in a dirty sexual way to describe some of us or his potential fashion models, and tries to cope a feel from us interns - not full blown sexual harassment. EIC will also often belittle you and make you feel insignificant, and talk about how he knows best. *EIC doesn't pay interns any amount - ALL WORK IS DONE FOR FREE. Pushed to do hard work for free.

The Paris Fashion Week incentive is also not legitimate. EIC has an invitation to a fashion show - but for the interns, he just gives us a photocopy of his invitation. Some of us are not able to enter these events because the invitation was just a photocopy. We are able to attend other events through request of a press pass because he uses the fraud business as a front.

*EIC will ask you and the rest of the interns to subscribe to the online website using your credit card. DO NOT DO THIS! There is a chance your credit card info will be taken. We tried to just pay him cash and he didn't want to take it and would rather everyone use their credit card.

Red flags: The EIC is too scared to give away past contacts of the business; Always wants to start fresh (creating new websites, facebook sites, group email list - instead of updating old ones), Bullies or blackmails you when you politely ask for business certification stamps (required by schools to prove internship is legitimate) or if you ask for documents that prove that the business is legal.

EIC fired all of us because some of the interns had complained and have taken action against him. His contract prevents us from finding work in other fashion related businesses, or to present work we did for him to potential hiring companies and managers - but his contract is illegal because it was not written in french. He will try to continue using the work you did for the company without giving you credit, and making it look like he did it all.

Did research on EIC and he has done the same in other countries. He continues to con young undergrads or new graduates to be an intern for his fashion business up to this day.

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