Brandy Melville: A Store Where Body Shaming is Accepted

Sophie Boyd '24, Contributing Writer

Upon asking for a skirt from Brandy Melville a couple of years ago, my mom was confused. The clothing store website did not provide any clear sizing chart or sizes at all for that matter; no customer reviews were seen for pieces either. She couldn’t find the details, not because she is not the most tech savvy, but because it simply didn’t exist.

I had seen other girls wearing the brand’s clothing and wanted to also get something. I went through shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses just to find only small sizes available. Furthermore, the models on the website were also always seen wearing a small. The brand ultimately does not cater to nearly enough girls through its deceiving “one size fits all” statement and fails to include diverse models.

I chatted online with a customer service representative and asked them about the sizing. This was their response: “Most of our items are one size but it can range from extra small-large depending on the item. Each item has its own fit and style! Some of our items also come as an over-sized style while others are a bit more conforming to the body, but most of our items are made from stretchy material to adjust to a variety of body types.”

The restricting sizing is not the only issue with the line, however. Employees are hired and fired in critical and harsh ways, such that both former and current employees explain that the process is dramatically based on appearance. In an online article from, one employee at a Massachusetts store described the store and company as a whole, “corrupt,” “disgusting” and one that “needs to be shut down.”

Employees also hardly ever receive a job from Brandy through applications; rather, they are asked in store because they fit a specific look. Another anonymous staff member stated, “I was hired because they asked me in the store but I’ve noticed that they rarely ask girls of color to work when they’re in the store.”

The staff is also seen as incompetent and misunderstanding through a multitude of online reviews at store locations; perhaps this is from an uncomfortable environment to work in. More specifically, a review of the Back Bay store in Boston came from a girl shopping for her cousin. She described herself as “a bigger girl and the lady at the register made a point to tell me they didn’t sell XL clothes so basically I wouldn’t fit in their clothes.”

The customer was not even shopping for herself and did not even mention a size, yet, the employee assumed there were no clothes for her. Quite frankly, the company seems shameful and one that is often displeasing to shoppers.

All these issues stem most likely from the CEO, Stephan Marsan. The ex-senior vice president, Luca Rotondo told “If she was Black, if she was fat … he [Marsan] didn’t want them in the store.”

Also shared from a former worker, Marsan watches shoppers from a high spot in the New York flagship store, pushing a button when one of them fits the “Brandy Melville look.” The cashier must then ask for their photo to send to executives for potential hiring. This inappropriate process certainly has no place in any franchise. There have also been reports and allegations of Marsan making racist and antisemetic remarks, including a disgusting incident where he photoshopped his face onto Hitler’s body.

The Brandy Melville stores still have great popularity among teen girls today; however, when someone feels they really want to purchase clothing from there, they need to think about the disaster and the messaging of a business they are endorsing.

Resources Used:,a%20determination%20on%20next%20steps.%22

Brandy Melville’s unique and often biased hiring method