After the broadcast of the documentary "Brandy Hellville and the Cult of Fast Fashion", the controversy about the clothing brand Brandy Melville has resurfaced!

Have you heard of clothing brand Brandy Melville?

Originating from Italy, crop tops are the size of children's clothing, and hip-hugging dresses that show off your curves are all Brandy Melville's signature designs.

In the wake of the fashion industry's move toward the political correctness of "multiple sizes, multiple aesthetics", Brandy Melville is still sticking to the S-size route, and is not ashamed to say that their clothes are one size fits all.

The controversy over the narrow body impression and the transmission of a single aesthetic followed. Recently, streaming platform HBO released a documentary about Brandy Melville - "Brandy Hellville and the Cult of Fast Fashion", which takes the audience to a deeper understanding of Brandy Melville based on investigative journalist Kate Taylor's 2021 report.

Photo: Brandy Melville IG

Why is clothing brand Brandy Melville popular?

But how did Brandy Melville get into the market in the first place?

The earliest can be traced back to the establishment of the brand story.

The founder invented the story of an American girl named Brandy and another British boy named Melville who met and fell in love in Rome, and even if it wasn't true, the public still paid for it.

After celebrity endorsements such as Kaia Gerber and Kendall Jenner, Brandy Melville became even more popular among teenage girls, and a new identity symbol was born – to squeeze into Brandy Melville is to keep up with the trend and to be accepted by your peers.

But while girls are proud to squeeze into Brandy Melville, the superiority of body discrimination creates body anxiety in reverse.

Photo: Brandy Melville IG

Controversy 1: Convey a single aesthetic - thinness is beauty

It's worth noting that Brandy Melville attracts teenage girls not only with celebrity endorsements, but also with a strong community expansion force.

Brandy Melville often retweets photos of customers wearing the brand's clothes on Instagram, and it's not hard to find that most of the photos that are retweeted are young, slim.

At present, the number of followers of the account has exceeded 3 million, and the huge fan base has inspires young girls to post photos of themselves wearing Brandy Melville, and also makes the narrow Brandy Melville aesthetic quietly implanted in the brain.

Not only does it spread a single aesthetic on the outside, but the interior of Brandy Meville is full of "thin is beautiful" aesthetics.

Brandy Meville, a former employee, said that before hiring employees, the store must send a photo of the interviewee to CEO Stephan Marsan for approval, and those who do not meet Stephan Marsan's aesthetic will not be admitted.

Not only when employing people, but also when evaluating employees, appearance is still an important indicator. Brandy Melville, a former employee, said, "If Stephan Marsan doesn't like an employee, he sends me a photo and asks me to fire them. 」

In addition, Stephan Marsan would ask the clerk to pose for a photo every morning on the grounds of brand research, and pass the photo to him.

As a result, Brandy Meville's employees are under constant pressure to wear the brand's clothing, and the struggle between eating disorders and healthy physical appearance has become a daily routine.

(Gaying in the same scene: In order to pursue rapid weight loss, lose fat to menopause? dear, please listen patiently to the voice of your body before pursuing beauty)

Photo: Brandy Melville IG

Controversy 2: Racial discrimination, division of labor according to race

In addition to the singular aesthetic of thinness as beauty, racism is another element of Brandy Meville's toxic work environment.

According to former employees, Brandy Meville often recruits "skinny white girls."

Ethnicity is the basis for the division of labor – only beautiful white women can serve customers, Asian girls are in charge of checkouts, and African American girls are confined to the pantry. There's even a saying in Brandy Meville: "If you're white, you have to be in people's sight." 」

In addition, memes and messages about anti-Semitism, racism and sexism often appear in the company group, and most people in the group have to echo it, even if they don't think it's funny, in order not to offend the company's top management.

(Guess what you think: why did the smash hit A&F become the most disgusted brand in the United States? Discriminatory remarks, sexual harassment, and the tragic price of A&F's lack of diversity and inclusion)

Photo: Brandy Melville IG

Controversy 3: Environmental destruction, how can we liberate from fast fashion

Like other fast-fashion brands such as Zara and H&M, Brandy Melville has adopted a business model of rapid iteration and production, which has resulted in cheap and low-quality clothing, as well as a population of consumers who quickly discard their clothes, which end up in the polluted Italian coast.

In fact, Brandy Melville isn't the first fashion brand to be implicated in Body Shaming and racism, as Abercrombie & Fitch has been caught up in controversy over exclusivity and discrimination.

However, society seems to have become immune to scandals in the fashion industry, and even the biggest scandals will subside in a week or two, sales will not be affected, and new stores will continue to open.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Brandy Melville's annual sales increased from $170 million in 2019 to $210 million in 2023. Since the inside story of 2021 was exposed, Marsan has continued to serve as the CEO of Brandy Melville and has always refused to respond.

The continued opening of these fashion brands hints at the continued occurrence of discrimination, and girls are still struggling to squeeze into Brandy Melville.

However, the power actually lies in the consumer at the end, and as a part of the discrimination structure, how to rethink the relationship between personal fashion and brand value, how to choose, how to liberate from the "regulated aesthetic", and how to regain the control of the consumer, without weakening the consumer's agency, is the thinking and action that consumers should have.

With practical actions, responding to the brand, exclusive sizing is not the only beauty standard, even if it is excluded, it is still beautiful!