Who Owns Brandy Melville? HBO’s Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion Looks into Controversial Clothing Brand

Photo of author
Written By Sedoso Feb

MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MLB MLB MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL MBL

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of abuse and sexual assault. Reader discretion is advised.

HBO’s Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion looks into renowned Italian clothing brand Brandy Melville. It premieres on the network this Tuesday, April 9, 2024, at 9 p.m. ET. It will be available to stream on Max afterward. The documentary examines the brand’s alleged toxic work culture and problematic recruiting process. Per Billboard‘s press release, the documentary includes interviews with former employees, insider sources, and experts.

According to Times Now and The U.S. Sun, Silvio Marsan and his son Stephan Marsan, the current CEO, founded Brandy Melville in the 1980s. Per The New York Post, they initially launched the brand in Italy and extended it to the US in 2009. The U.S. Sun stated that in 2012, Franco Sorgi, a former store owner, was behind the first Brandy Melville store opening in Canada. Eventually, the brand expanded in the United States and Canada. The brand has stores in 15 countries and more than 80 cities across the world.

The New York Post, referring to a Business Insider report, stated CEO Stephan Marsan perpetrated problematic behavior. His stores allegedly only hired white, thin, pretty girls, while he was extensively involved in the hiring process. Many of the brand’s former employees and experts considered the specifics of this hiring process as problematic. Allegations also suggest that the toxic work environment was fueled by racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, body shaming, and sexual assault.

Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion: Why is Brandy Melville controversial?

According to Business Insider India, per the 2021 Insider report, Franco Sorgi, a former store owner, claimed Stephan Marsan showed racist behavior. Sorgi, who opened the first Brandy Melville store in Canada in 2012, Marsan was against hiring Black employees. Moreover, the CEO did not want Black and overweight customers to tarnish the brand’s name.

The New York Post stated that Brandy Melville introduced the “one-size-fits-most” strategy on Marsan’s directions. This happened after he reportedly directed the brand’s stores to keep only the three smallest sizes on the floor in 2013.

Per the outlet, Marsan gave specific directions to Luca Rotondo, who was once the brand’s Senior Vice President, for the hiring process. Rotondo told Insider that “he didn’t want” black or fat women in his stores. This eventually resulted in hundreds of layoffs of employees based either on physical appearance or race.

Insider’s report revealed that Stephan Marsan made the girls employed in Brandy Melville stores send full-length pictures. Allegedly, the management played favorites with female employees, dubbing some of them “special snowflakes.” They received special treatment, such as access to a loft in Soho that the company owned. The company also took these female employees on trips to places like Hawaii and Italy.

However, the special treatment often resulted in alleged inappropriate behavior and sexual assault. A manager, who remained anonymous, claimed a man who managed multiple Brandy Melville stores sexually assaulted her in the said Soho loft. The alleged sexual assault victim said, “They would be doing everyone a favor to shut this business down.”

Additionally, allegations suggest that female employees had to strip completely and try on new clothes in front of the male management. The insider report also mentioned problematic text messages that Stephan Marsan sent to a group called Brandy Melville gags. These messages sent to the said group, comprising some 30 friends and co-workers of the Brandy Melville CEO, were allegedly racist, misogynistic, and anti-Semitic.

Among many racist messages Marsan sent, one was a photo of the Happy Days show with a racist caption. It pointed out the lack of Black people in the show and said, “That’s why it was called ‘Happy Days.’” He also allegedly made more than 20 Adolf Hitler references, including a photo that said, “Nobel Prize for barbecue.”

An official media release states that Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion aims to uncover the said toxic culture. The synopsis discusses Brandy Melville’s transition into a teen brand worldwide. The brand reportedly promotes an “unattainable aesthetic, fueled by Instagram campaigns featuring its own employees and select ‘Brandy girls.’”

HBO’s documentary includes interviews with former Brandy Melville employees, executives, and fashion insiders. Additionally, it features Kate Taylor, a popular investigative journalist, alongside Alyssa Hardy, a former fashion editor from Teen Vogue, among several others.

The documentary will comprise “troubling accounts from former executives” as they “reveal a troubling toxic work environment.” These revelations include the brand’s “discriminatory recruiting methods at the company.” The doc also uncovers the “inner workings of a business that flourished by setting impossible beauty standards” for both customers and employees.

Eva Orner directs Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion. The documentary producers are Orner, Jonathan Chinn, and Simon Chinn. David Kraemer is the line producer, Claire Didier is the editor, and Nick Higgins is the director of photography.

The Brandy Melville documentary will premiere on HBO on April 9, 2024.

Source

Leave a Comment

MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL MlL