Like Mean Girls and Clueless before it, The Devil Wears Prada is one of those movies that’s made such a huge cultural imprint on our society that quoting lines from it in everyday conversation is seen as normal behavior.
Despite being more than a decade old, the film is universally beloved for a lot of reasons: Most of us can relate to having a demanding boss (though probably not as venomous as Meryl Streep’s brilliant Miranda Priestly), we've all struggled when it comes to balancing career and personal life, and everyone loves a trying-on-clothes montage. But the movie is also compelling because of its insider look at an industry that's typically closed off and hidden behind heavy, glass doors for most people.
But how real is the portrayal? It’s well-known that Vogue’s Anna Wintour served as inspiration for Lauren Weisberger’s best-selling novel upon which the film is based, but there is no way bosses like Miranda, who can belittle you with a mere glance, or coworkers like Emily, whose identity is wholly wrapped up in her job, exist IRL. Or that your coworkers would reference you not by name but your dress size and condescend to you every chance they got, right? Right? Depends on who you ask. So, we asked.
Read on to find out what the people who have the jobs a million fashion-loving kids would kill for really think of the film and its depiction of their chosen industry.
Landon Peoples, associate editor at V Magazine
For all intents and purposes, I love The Devil Wears Prada, but it is scarily accurate—even today. Working in fashion, you’ll encounter every personality represented in that film—the nice ones, the mean ones, the backstabbers, and people who will really help you and want to see you succeed—and, you’ll also experience different working environments similar to the offices of Runway. But, nowadays, you can sort of customize how Devil Wears Prada you want your career to be. If you want that exact experience, work in print or at one of the old, storied publications. If you don’t want that experience, and you want a great work-life balance and an open, amicable office culture, then work at a digital media company. But whatever you do—work your ass off, and worry about the Chanel boots later.