Fifteen years ago this summer, The Devil Wears Prada introduced us to Miranda Priestly, and ever since then the movie, based on Anna Wintour and Vogue, has become the rom-com darling of basic cable, much to the joy of fans who hunker down to watch it again and again (with a Starbucks and a cube of cheese, in case they feel like they’re going to faint).
As Coco Chanel is credited with saying: “Fashion fades, only style remains the same,” and indeed, Prada is still one of the top 15 international brands in the fashion industry. Although Miranda’s introductory scene with a close-up of her giant, designer logo-ed handbag would still be relevant today, the same cannot be said for the goings-on of the rest of the DWP gang.
A Million Girls?
Back in the day, we heard that a million girls would kill for the second assistant job and we played along. We now live in more questioning times, hence, where were they? First assistant Emily made it clear there were only two candidates before Andy. Apparently, Miranda was so desperate that she was willing to give the coveted position to somebody who had never read the magazine and didn’t even know who the famed editor was, and didn’t have the savvy to fake it even just a little.
To be fair the meeting was impromptu, so Andy didn’t have much time or the resources to do any research on the elevator ride down from HR. Still, it was hard to believe that an award-winning journalism major out of Northwestern would have had such embarrassing interviewing skills.
Today, Andy would have an iPhone and the good sense to Google the person with whom she was about to meet for a desperately needed job; but in today’s reality, she most likely would not have even gotten as far as Cherry in Human Resources, let alone Emily, because of the current state of online applying and screening.
How Do You Say Date Rape in French?
After a dinner at a Parisian cafe that was supposed to “change her life,” Andy’s date and acclaimed writer Christian Thompson put the moves on an intoxicated junior colleague who pulled away and clearly stated twice, “I can’t,” and expressed that her judgment was impaired. Yet, in the next scene she awakens in his bed.
A decade and a half ago, before the debate raged on as to whether someone under the influence can actually offer consent, a woman might have felt she had no recourse against a male, professional superior.
In the era of #MeToo, however, Andy would publish an essay about the experience and other young writers most likely would come forward with their own stories involving the guy who once “ended up in Hoboken wearing nothing but a poncho and cowboy boots,” and his career would be kaput.
Say Goodbye to Starbucks
True, in the early aughts the coffee giant was the go-to beverage mecca worth standing in line and running through the streets for, however Miranda would now have a Nespresso coffee machine in her private kitchen, the same one she has at home, where select members of the Runway gang worked during quarantine.
Not only would Andy be required to learn to make her boss’ hot beverage with the skill of a barista, but she would have to also get schooled in latte art.
Andy would be responsible for spiraling heated milk into the cup to create a heart, a tulip, a rosette, and last but not least, a fern–all in rotation, as Miranda wouldn’t want to see each foamy artwork more than once a day. “The heart-shape again? Did you smack your little head on the pavement?”
Andy Would Create a Dating Profile and Find New Friends
Yes, the newbie professional mocked the position initially, but then turned it around when she realized if she didn’t, she’d get fired from the job that paid the rent.
Did her pals give her so much as a, “You go girl. Put on those Chanel boots and show ’em who they’re dealing with”?
But did her pals give her so much as a, “You go girl. Put on those Chanel boots and show ’em who they’re dealing with”? Or “Look at you; snagging the Paris gig away from Emily the bitch.” Instead: crickets. Nothing was said by her best friend Lily except “Gimme,” when Andy gifted her a $1,900 Marc Jacobs bag “the dragon lady” didn’t want. Nate was even less supportive. Thanks though to all the dating apps that exist these days, Andy could not only dump the chef, who prepared a mighty burnt-looking grilled cheese, but send him packing for Boston.
Ultimately, Miranda Would be Canceled
Despite Miranda’s success making the magazine the fashion bible it is, Runway employees today would rise up and demand that Elias Clark fire the lack of diversity/object tossing/food wasting/demands-the-elevator-all-to-herself editor in chief for creating a toxic environment. The campaign against her would surely include a memo or two leaked to The New York Times.
The micro-aggressions directed at Andy would end up on a Twitter account called, “Shit Miranda Says.”
In addition, “So I said to myself, go ahead hire the smart, fat girl,” the micro-aggression directed at Andy, would end up on aTwitter account called, “Shit Miranda Says,” resulting in HR’s very costly company-wide initiative on body positivity in the workplace. (Even those at Auto Universe would have to attend.)
Black journalists, models, and photographers (none of whom were on “the list” that Miranda used to blackmail publisher Irv Ravitz into keeping her job away from Jacqueline Follet) would accuse Miranda of denying them their creative voice.
The final nail in her career coffin would be the swift publication of Nigel’s memoir. After being screwed out of the James Holt deal, he’d use the incident as the last chapter of the book he’d been working on for a decade, resulting in a bidding war and seven-figure payday.
At least Miranda would still have some leftover Prada to keep her warm.
Lorraine Duffy Merkl is a freelance writer and novelist. Her third book, THE LAST SINGLE WOMAN IN NEW YORK CITY, will be published by Heliotrope Books.