'The Intern's Company Has Roots In Real Fashion

by Dino-Ray Ramos

At one point in your life, you were probably eager (and desperate) enough to be an intern, set on gaining career experience. That being said, flashback to those days of when you were a bright-eyed and fresh-faced graduate, hungry for a place in the real world. Now ask yourself this question: would you want to be an intern for Anne Hathaway? Well, specifically, for Jules Ostin, her character in The Intern? She is the ambitious and innovative founder of an up-and-coming fashion start-up called About the Fit (or ATF, as all the cool kids call it). It sounds like a fun company —there's fashion, technology, and a lot of usage of social media — and Jules sounds like a good boss. Who wouldn't want to work there? But does About the Fit from The Intern really exist? Unfortunately, no — but don't fret! There are similar fashion start-ups for you to enjoy.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hathaway said that that she talked to a lot with women similar to the character of Jules, such as Sophia Amoruso from the fashion site Nasty Gal and Lauren Santo Domingo, founder of Moda Operandi and contributing editor to Vogue. She also took time out to speak with former Marie Claire style and accessories director and former Moda Operandi creative director, Taylor Tomasi Hill, about how she started her own floral arranging company, TTH Blooms, after being in the fashion industry for so long. Jules Ostin may only be a character in a movie, but Hathaway did enough research to make her seem real.

The character of Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old widower looking to get back into the workforce, eventually snags the position of senior intern with the fictitious About the Fit. It eventually becomes a classic tale of the younger generation learning from the older and vice versa. More than that, it becomes a movie about the professional woman in the 21st century — some may call it a Working Girl for millennials.

Establishing that the character of Jules is a CEO and founder of this rising startup is the foundation of the movie. According to the THR interview, the famed writer-director-producer of The Intern, Nancy Meyers, dug just as deep as Hathway when it came to the world of e-commerce and online fashion. Hathaway's costar, Andrew Rannells, said that Meyers did "a lot of work with One Kings Lane and Gilt Groupe, and she shared a lot of that information with us. That information was wildly helpful."

Meyers also told THR that the job that Jules has, founder of an e-commerce site, is the same job that many women have today. Gilt Groupe and One Kings Lane were started by women, and the career-minded focus of the movie can very well speak to today's millennials.

Drawing inspiration from hugely successful fashion sites and online retailers is a perfect "fit" for the fictional startup, About the Fit. More than that, the popularity of online shopping is timely and is something that today's audiences can relate to; not only as online shoppers but also as working women. Rannells told THR that budding online entrepreneurs should pay attention to the business model of About the Fit because it's "genius." He said if it actually existed in real life, it would be a successful startup.

We may see a real About the Fit sooner than we think.

Image: Francois Duhamel/Warner Bros.