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The Apprentice: season 13, episode 10 recap: "John Fashionu"

The Apprentice: season 13, episode 10 recap: "John Fashionu"
Good job it's my turn, because what I don't know about fashion isn't worth knowing. I bought three pairs of trousers the other week. On the same day. I know.
The task

Up early and off to Somerset House in a fleet of cars that is frankly both ecologically and fiscally irresponsible now there are only six people. This place is a hub for contemporary arts and culture, Lord Sugar says, having satisfied himself of this fact after a brief look round the gift shop and one of the cubicles in the gents'. They are to be fashion agents, representing a designer, getting a magazine to put them on the cover and then selling their line to a clothing retailer, of which there are apparently more than three.

Vitality are to handle a women's range with Jade as PM. Harrison points out that he knows fuck all about women's clothes and so reasons that the best course of action is for him to mooch about getting in the way for a couple of days before claiming in the boardroom that he "smashed it, bosh, a million per cent". Jade isn't sure how much commission to charge a designer, and nor is anyone else, but we're sure it'll all be fine.

Joanna fronts Graphene's range of menswear. Maybe they'll end up selling a range of non-slim-fit shirts to a major high street retailer so it's not so hard for me to find new ones after I stacked on some timber in the autumn. They go to meet a designer who has made what are essentially Chewbacca outfits with no eyeholes. From Claude's face he's considering either investing in one or burning the building to the ground and stomping out unscathed through the embers. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Michaela have some fun objectifying the male models.

Come on, he's asking for it, wearing trousers like that, it's only a bit of fun love, can't you take a joke?


Jade secures 10% commission on some outfits by Helen Woollams, neglecting to note that her brand is called Hellavagirl and thus shouldn't be promoted under her real name. Karren tells us this to camera, so there's a pretty decent chance it'll rear its head again later. (Occasions when Karren's concerns prove unfounded are rare: you don't make astute decisions like hiring David Moyes unless you really know your onions.) This range is "Apocalyptic meets Henry VIII", or I might have just seen that on a Dancehall poster in south London.

Joanna goes for 17% commission on a cheaper range which is ecologically sound, because if there's one thing I love when I buy a jumper it's to explain to everyone I meet that it's made from sustainable bark and watch the free drinks roll in. She and James make one of those classic Apprentice phone calls to Michaela and Elizabeth in which no useful information is transmitted because an imagined time limit precludes anyone from doing anything but shout. In a photoshoot for what is nominally to be the cover of Shortlist magazine, despite their having hired actual professional models expressly for the purpose, James is invited to model the clothes himself with a centre-parting that makes him look like he's in EYC. The model with him wears a T-shirt and shorts of uniform print like he's Dappy from N-Dubz. At this point my dream of some new shirts to choose from in Uniqlo is on the verge of disintegration.

Vitality secure the backing of Stylist magazine by dint of having less bamboo on their front cover than the one Graphene pitched to Shortlist. But there's a setback when – gasp! – a buyer tells Jade that her Woollams/Hellavagirl cock-up is a problem. Karren smirks a bit, then reads an email on her phone reporting that since she hired him a week ago David Moyes has accidentally burned down the stadium and exchanged half the first-team squad for some magic beans at Petticoat Lane Market.

Joanna is basically quite a good and unflappable PM, and though the management process is a lot easier with fewer egos to juggle you get the impression she's suffered in previous weeks through everyone talking over her and dismissing her ideas. Jade is also quietly competent and much less of an obvious bell-end than everyone else. This always happens in the latter weeks: it starts to become clearer, because there's less noise, whose work has value and who is just flannelling their way through it or playing a role.

Claude, just as home supervising a catwalk event as he is building a throne out of the skulls of his enemies.


Anyway, there's some catwalking, in which a fair percentage of the industry audience wear sunglasses indoors because they saw Zoolander and thought it aspirational, and there's some selling, and Michaela says something derogatory about H&M which makes me wonder whether I need to strike it from the three-strong list of shops I'll buy clothes in (not for long: the socks in there are fun), and everyone heads back to HQ in a fleet of about 20 people-carriers.

The boardroom

Sugar's back on the jokes again. The Woollams brand name mistake is "like promoting an Elton John concert and saying 'come along and see Reg Dwight', which is his real name". ([a] it isn't: his real name is Elton Hercules John; he changed it, and [b] this analogy doesn't even fit the situation.) Then there's a "Hugo Bossy" crack about Elizabeth.

Everyone says their PM was good: we're into the endgame where everyone's a bit more nice to each other. Graphene win it, mainly through having gone down the route of cheaper items but bigger commission. They go off to do indoor skydiving, while Vitality head off to the cafe of shame, where they gamely try to eke out criticisms of one another despite recognising that everyone did broadly fine.
Who got fired?

Lord Sugar pronounces it "manne-quinns", and I'm still laughing at this when Harrison gets the shove because basically all he did was set out some chairs. Then Jade's off because they've only booked four meeting rooms for the interviews next week and Gary Barnard in ICT has got the other one booked out all day in Outlook because he's running Q&A drop-in sessions about how moving the customer data folders to the G:/ drive is going to impact the Q4 targets given the migration downtime.
Do they thank him?

Harrison mumbles the standard "Thanks for the opportunity", as does Jade.

Next week: the teams have to act as Morrissey's PR agents.


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