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If You're Pretty, You Don't Have to be Competent or Reliable to Work at Elle: And Other Lessons We Learn from Watching The City

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Joe Zee looks serious, but he probably doesn't mean it.
Joe Zee looks serious, but he probably doesn't mean it.

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Is The City one of the worst fashion reality TV shows ever? Not because it's not entertaining—because it is entertaining to watch people in your industry parade around faking it—but because, besides Kelly Cutrone's take-no-prisoners attitude, the rest of the show is painfully, stupidly unrealistic.

Like: a non-designer magically whips up a collection, is given a studio in SoHo and two shows at major American fashion weeks; an incompetent socialite with dubious professional credentials landing an editorship at Elle, where, for some bizarre reason, she sits next to the publicist; unpaid fashion interns and entry-level designers living in a $7,000-a-month apartment in Manhattan's West Village.

It's also mindboggling (and incredibly addictive) to see just how namby-pamby and oblivious the top editorial staff at Elle make themselves look every single week. (Obviously, these people are professionals and don't run their business like this in real life. We hope.)

The Cut provides some delicious examples of Elle's tomfoolery from the most recent episode—

Lesson 2: Assigning an interview to a nitwit.
Don't: Make it seem harder than it really is. Joe, Erin, and Olivia meet to discuss the Zac Posen for Target party. Joe is all, “Do you think you can get Zac Posen?” And Olivia is all, “I’m pretty positive I can get Zac Posen.” Our cat could get Zac Posen—he’s a very chatty fellow with reporters at parties. But making it seem so difficult allows Olivia to feel more important and Joe to feel like he has a solid reason to keep her if she accomplishes the most banal of tasks. (“Oh my God — you showed up today! RAISE!”)
· The City Recap: Olivia Palermo Is Joe Zee’s Little Pony [The Cut]
· Whitney Port gets a reality check from Joe Zee and Anne Slowey [Racked]
· Whitney Port's apartment from The City for rent on Craigslist [Racked]