Some of us were incredibly torn up about the tragic loss of American Apparel. While it’s true that everything was made of the same fabric and was solid-colored, it was one of fewer than five stores that were close enough to campus to regularly shop at. So, regardless of how you felt about the fashion statements of the store, saying goodbye to it was still an L.
Collectively, as a community, we were curious as to what company would rent out this prime real estate next. There were rumors, but no one could have ever expected the surprise that was awaiting all of us Golden Bears upon our return from winter break — Brandy Melville?????
Brandy Melville was never even thought of as a rumor, let alone a realistic possibility. But here it is, in all of its Telegraph Avenue glory. It’s a little strange that the company only rented out half of what was formerly American Apparel, because it’s the half that isn’t on the corner and therefore not visible from Bancroft. But it’s all good. Chipotle will bring the more basic percentage of Berkeley’s population onto Telegraph Avenue anyway.
Since we’re doing a lot of judging, the Clog felt it necessary to do a small investigation of the store in order to justify our savagery but also to see what the hype was about. Upon walking in, there were no other customers in the store. Perhaps what Brandy Melville really needed to start making moves was our publicity.
Even more peculiar, Telegraph Avenue is not particularly known for shopping. It is known for cheap jewelry, cheap food and vibrantly wonderful street fairs. We guess you can find some cheap jewelry inside Brandy. But as for the rest of it, it’s just some bougie one-size-fits-all apparel that none of us have seen since middle school. When we think of that perfect shopping getaway, walking down to Telegraph isn’t always the first option we envision.
After sifting through the store, Clog investigators also took note of how expensive everything seemed to be. While it’s our dream to be able to afford a $50 sweater without having a panic attack, this is simply not the reality for most college students.
While pricy, however, the apparel is soft, versatile and fashionable. A lot of the pieces seem custom-made for Berkeley or the Bay Area at large and are softer than a baby’s bottom. Perhaps Brandy Melville will be the perfect place to throw away all of your money — right after you’ve thrown your grade away, of course. (This generally happens after your first midterm, so don’t worry; this time will come sooner than you think). At the very least, Berkeley has gained another business that will hopefully flourish and satisfy the shopping addictions of many of UC Berkeley’s finest. But the only real way to figure out the store’s vibes is to check it out for yourself! As long as you avoid middle-school flashbacks while you’re in there, the shopping excursion should be successful.
Contact Annie Hatton at [email protected].