Ever since I was offered the opportunity to intern at Marie Claire, people have constantly been asking me if my experience was going to be anything like the classic, fashion cult film The Devil Wears Prada. First of all, I am not Andy Sachs and I’m not someone who fell into a job that “a million girls would kill for.” I’ve worked hard my entire college career with this being my ultimate end goal, so clearly my sentiments toward this job are going to be much different than hers. Even at the times when I’m running through ten blocks of Manhattan carrying Chanel luggage while feeling completely and utterly hopeless (yes, this actually happened) I’m still so grateful to be where I am. So sorry, Andy, you don’t have anything on me.
For anyone who dreams of working at a similar publication, or even those who don’t and are just curious, I want to debunk some of the most iconic moments in this movie to give the rest of the world a little insight into how many of Andy Sachs’ experiences actually take place every day the cutthroat cubicles at fashion magazines.
As most of you know, The Devil Wears Prada was inspired by working for Anna Wintour at Vogue. Now, Marie Claire may not be Vogue, but we do have an equally powerful presence with our creative director, Nina Garcia. For two weeks I came into the office to help Nina’s assistant to keep myself busy during the fashion team’s holiday vacation– but when you’re Nina’s assistant, there’s no such thing as vacation.
After working on a pretty basic task for a couple of hours one day, her assistant told me that we would be taking a field trip. We got in a cab and headed toward the Upper East Side (if you’re thinking Gossip Girl, you’re thinking correctly). Then it hit me, we were going to Nina’s house. As we were about to walk in, he told me, “Now, there aren’t really any rules going into Nina’s house, just be quiet. Obviously you can speak if someone talks to you, but otherwise just be quiet.”
Luckily for me, there were no directions to “leave the book on the table with the flowers” and I didn’t have to go in alone. But as soon as the 5’4″ fashion powerhouse was only about a foot away from me, I don’t even think I could have spoken. Commanding and intimidating, she quickly spoke with her assistant and then headed out the door to take her son to a doctor’s appointment. Granted, my experience wasn’t as dramatic as stumbling upon her and her husband in the middle of a fight, but it’s still pretty cool to say I’ve seen where one of fashion’s most influential women calls home.
There’s a little bit of truth to this scene in the movie due to what Nina’s assistant told me right before we entered. But all I can say is thank god I didn’t have to go in alone, because I probably would have gotten confused and messed something up, and there’s no way I could have found two copies of the latest Harry Potter book the next day (especially considering it’s 2016).