1. Rachel

    Ha! I interviewed for a position in fashion/beauty before, and the hiring manager told me straight up that I would have to deal with bitchy women on a daily basis. It seems like it’s almost expected in that field, sadly. :\

  2. Lauren

    ugh these women sound awful- i got anxiety just from reading this post haha 🙂

  3. Marissa

    Meg – I completely love this post! I think this has existed in awhile in our industry but for some reason seems to be worse as of late. I’ve actually experienced this snobbiness among other bloggers at events (particularly during fashion week’s) where I’ve been blatantly scrutinized from head to toe, given dirty looks, and a nose turned the other way. I was so appalled that these “big bloggers” would do this – we’re all at this event for the same thing and clearly we both got an invite so you’re no better than I am. I’ve also been to various interviews for fashion related jobs in the city and upon arriving felt I was immediately written off because the interviewer didn’t like something about me.

    Thank you for writing this! I hope lots of women will read + realize they really aren’t a big deal, that we’re all in this together, and tearing people down (visually or verbally) doesn’t support or get anyone anywhere.


  4. Jessica

    Your description is spot on. When I interviewed at a major modeling agency here in New York (obvi for a corporate position, not a modeling gig), the president of the company actually leaned around her perch at the head of the table to look me up and down before she stood up to shake my hand. I attributed it to her having to physically look models up and down all day, but regardless, not exactly a warm welcome!

  5. Irene Gianos

    Well said! I haven’t experienced that side of it, but it’s SO prevalent even in retail. And the irony is THEY are working to make money from OUR purchases. Like in Pretty Woman, remember? I don’t get it… well, I do. It’s those women who need their label/brand/store to give them the slightest bit of confidence at all because they LACK it. Agree agree agree!!!

  6. YP

    Thank you for this post!
    Its easier to be nice, to be honest. If its not a good fit, then fine, but at least don’t leave a bad impression on someone. You never know who you will meet in fashion, its a smaller world than anyone can imagine, and people often move quickly to bigger and better things. Karma is a {insert superlative here}.
    I don’t understand why adult women(and men… can be mean girls too) are allowed to be set loose upon the public to rep a brand in that manner, it is very unprofessional.

  7. Meg @ Peaches and Cake

    Go girl. Those women need to pay a visit to etiquette school! Your mother must have taught you better than those women. It all stems from how you are raised.

  8. Chloé Elizabeth

    Very well said!

  9. Rachelle

    Not surprising at all and they are so dumb as you can never tell how much a customer will purchase just by looking at them. SMH… this will never change I’ve experience it one time too many.


  10. Backrow Girl

    Oh WOW, yes!

    I have a degree in fashion and have worked in apparel industry for some time before saying, eff it, I’m switching fields. I now work as a graphic designer/illustrator, and after like seven years still can’t get enough of how much friendlier and more supportive people are than they were in fashion.

    It’s the general environment and the culture of fashion. The idea that if YOU believe that you are “cool” then everyone else will, too. Because everything is so subjective, and what was on trend yesterday will and does get ridiculed today. So it’s part of protective shell that many people construct around themselves, especially if they are shallow and don’t have their own substance.
    So many people in apparel industry are so full of themselves that when you’re trying to be friendly, you’re either being perceived as weak or dumb or odd. All the truly cool people that I ever knew who were in fashion industry have left – some, like me, to get into other design areas, and some to teach.

  11. Margaret Elizabeth

    So glad you posted about this! As a designer who is on the ‘vendor’ side of those relationships, I can never understand the fashion reps/designers who get so catty. I have had some of the most unsuspecting women come in my booth and place the largest orders for their VERY lovely stores. Women who have a great eye and amazing taste- all of which is reflected in their fabulous stores. It’s stories like yours that get me so frustrated with Market and the whole industry!

  12. Aimee

    It’s time this is pointed out within the industry and as someone who created a brand to be and act the opposite of this behavior I find it exists in all areas of fashion. We’ve dealt with many a Mean Girl in PR, buying, etc. The industry is tough enough and I agree we should all support one another!

  13. Nuha

    I hate that a whole post has to be devoted to this subject. I agree with Irene, these women lack confidence and they treat others horribly out of sheer jealousy and self-conciousness. What’s worse is that I see this same attitude a lot through blogging. I LOVE when I see other bloggers make successful careers for themselves doing something they love, but I’d love to see more of them extend encouragement and support to other bloggers. There’s so much inspiration and encouragement out there, but there’s also a ton of animosity and “too good for you” attitudes. Why does looking good and feeling good have to be so clique-y?

  14. Bri Binder

    Fabulous and honest post! I used to work in corporate retail as a buyer and this is pretty spot on. People glamorize the industry but it is definitely more of a mean girls environment than anything. Great job sharing your experience and bringing light to the myth of the apparel industry.
    xo- BB

  15. Ashley

    This upsets me so much. Nice people make the world go round and unfortunately they’re getting less prevalent in the world..

    xo Ashley

  16. Liz {What Dress Code?}

    Thanks so much for this post! — I definitely think the industry as a whole is full of this sort of behavior, and I unfortunately sometimes notice it in the blogging world as well. I think a big part of it is the inherent competitive nature of many if not all women — particularly those who have dedicated their careers to the fashion industry or related industries — and it has unfortunately led to an elevated sense of snottiness. There’s no need for it ladies, we’re all in this together!

  17. Erica

    Sad but true! While I have had mostly positive experiences in my 20+ years in the fashion biz, I have definitely encountered some grade A bitchy ladies. It’s been almost 10 years since I worked my last Coterie or market, when denim and smaller brands were really getting their big push… I can only imagine how ruthless it’s become. I actually worked for someone who acted pretty mean and judgy. Let me tell you it was only a matter of time before he was out in the aisle BEGGING for buyers to come view the line. Fashion trends change quickly and shoppers are more fickle than ever. These people should be working their tails off to do business while they can and cultivate relationships with their buyers that might help guide through future seasons. I guess they can’t see beyond their fabulousness. If not, they’ll soon meet the bitchiest lady of all… karma! 🙂

  18. Camille

    I avoided going into fashion for this exact reason. I wouldn’t be able to deal with something like that on a regular basis.

  19. Channing

    Such a real and well written post. Love the image too. I have had that experience just walking into a few high-end department stores – sorry I just came from the gym and don’t look adorable. LIke do you get off on being bitchy? I really dislike when people talk to me when im shopping or put thing in my dressing room when im not looking but I am always polite and nice! no reason to be rude, even when you are having a bad day.
    Thank you for sharing this

  20. corrin

    This sounds so much like the blogging world and is exactly the reason I cooled to events and working with brands.

  21. mom

    35 years ago……my experiences at the NYC fashion market were both similar and different. At 22, as a buyer for a large department store chain I was so naive and awestruck that I just assumed this was how business was done – you know, you’re in “New York”. No one is nice. It’s business. Develop a skin. I wanted to be successful, so I bought in to it. I ALLOWED people to treat me disrespectfully. Then, as I became more and more successful in my craft, I gained more confidence and learned that I didn’t HAVE to do business that way. I figured out those mean girls are just insecure and most likely emulating the people for whom they work. Call it peer pressure. Call it reverse intimidation. Call them out. There are tons of vendors… business with someone else.

  22. Elle

    I’m totally with you babe. And sadly, it’s not just the women in the fashion industry. So many people everywhere think so highly of themselves and have lost their sense of humility, usually losing the nice person they once had in them.

    BUT with that said, I’m super glad you wrote this post and pointed it out so that people who read this will too be inspired to be kind and not so pompous. 🙂

    If we all do one act of kindness everyday, we could change the world! …or at least try. 🙂

    xoxo! Much love to you, Meg! <3

  23. Ame

    I had salesgirls at Fred Segal LAUGH OUT LOUD at me, follow me around and laugh at me, and actually make barnyard sounds at me when I picked up a pair of jeans I thought were interesting–knowing they would not fit my size 14 at the time frame. At first I thought they were just customers who were rude, when I realized these were employees, and I could find no one who would get me a manager, I just threw everything I had in my arms on the floor where I stood, got my husband and left. I had a good $3000 worth of stuff in my hands I planned on paying for. I think people on the coasts especially think us midwestern girls (STL!) are broke, cornfed idiots with no taste or something. We can buy the same stuff they can, maybe not always in the stores like the can, but certainly online, or on a trip. We are not broke, we are not flaky, and we have a little more sense than them. And most of the time more manners. Not always since there are shopgirls (and guys) here with equally less customer service savvy.

  24. Jess | the Jess Journals

    I was working that trade show the last 3 days, on the clothing side! It was my first time working one and I was actually right in the middle of a lot of the denim brands. I didn’t get the chance to wander around unfortunately, but from what I could tell in the booths right around me, everyone treated the buyers/potential buyers with the same amount of decency. It’s unfortunate that this happens, but I do hope that with more awareness of it people will check themselves in the future.

    On a completely different note, I wish I’d known you’d be there – would have loved for you to stop by and say hi! 🙂

  25. Emily | Sparkle Meets Pop

    No matter what industry, we are humans behind whatever title, degree, etc. I find that some women buy into the need to be bitchy to be conceived as powerful or even just capable compared to men. I don’t buy it. There’s a big difference between being assertive and mean.

  26. the zhush

    OK, first off…bummed that I missed you as I was there on Tuesday. Secondly, AMEN! I too wandered over to the clothing side out of PURE curiosity, I mean, how could I NOT? And I got the same vibe as you…and I grew up in NY or the NYC metro area my whole life, so I know a thing or two about mean fashion girls, etc…my take away was wow, I guess the economy must be getting better than I thought. At any rate, great post! Well put:)

  27. Samantha

    How awful! I was raised to believe that ‘we all put our pants on the same way.’ So, no one is better than the others. They need to get over themselves. Honestly, I probably would have called them out. Usually, I’m not afraid to because most of the time I have nothing to lose.

  28. Mandy

    I can completely relate! Owning a e-commerce boutique of my own I unfortunately have to deal with this every time I go to market to buy for the shop. It has gotten better as I’ve become more of a regular in the showrooms, and for every mean girl there is a nice girl, but seriously what a joke! And it is SO appalling as we as women should be supporting each other not tearing each other down.

    xo Mandy @ Waiting On Martha

  29. renee

    late to the party here, but i had a similar experience recently at kate spade, of all places. normally their sales associates are so bubbly and friendly, but i went to a new location to make a return and everyone gave me chronic bitch face and barely troubled themselves to acknowledge me when i asked for assistance.

    i was so shocked and disappointed that i actually called corporate and filed a complaint. no one should ever be treated so negatively, and it was a total departure from the upbeat brand image!

    (aside: the shop was in greenwich, ct. i live in a neighboring town, but it feels like a different planet!)

  30. Pixie Strong

    Thank you so much for your post, Meg. I’m rather new to this world, and for the most part I have had a wonderful journey so far, but there have been times when I have been so shocked at the way, especially women treat each other. Don’t we have enough problems to deal with, without adding a lack of support from each other to the list?!
    A great post. We need more like you in the world. Mean girls are funny to watch on TV but they totally suck in real life! xxx


Link to this post:

  1. A Little Craft Beer + Link Love: 05.10.13 - Glossy Blonde

    […] The Mean Girls of Fashion. This stuff happens alllll the time and this post is definitely worth a read (especially for brand […]

Leave a Comment