After more than two years selling clothing on Telegraph Avenue, Brandy Melville recently closed the doors of its Berkeley location.
Brandy Melville has long faced controversy due to its sizing policy, in which all of its clothes come in one size or limited size options, most of which are small or extra small. This sizing policy “appalled” Berkeley resident Nia Bass when she walked into the Brandy Melville store in Berkeley for the first time.
“I had only heard of their brand in passing and was unaware of their one size policy,” Bass said in an email. “I wear a size 16/18 so I quickly discovered sifting through racks nothing there would fit me.”
Bass also believes that Brandy Melville’s business model is based on “size exclusivity” and a look that is “unattainable for most.”
Brandy Melville could not be reached for comment as of press time.
UC Berkeley alumna Quinn Hanschen shopped at the Brandy Melville store in Berkeley because it typically sold “convenient” and “very simple” clothing, including plain T-shirts, tank tops and sweatpants, which appealed to her.
Hanschen said she is able to fit into Brandy Melville’s clothing but added she does not support the brand’s sizing policy.
“As a college student, we just kind of needed clothes every so often,” Hanschen said. “(Brandy Melville’s sizing policy) was something I would think about, but quite honestly not too deeply. … I could wear the clothes so it wasn’t something that was at the forefront of my mind to feel bad about.”
Campus sophomore Kashish Kharbanda shopped at Brandy Melville specifically for accessories and said she will miss the store’s “prime location” near campus.
Kharbanda criticized Brandy Melville’s “lack of inclusivity,” but considered the Berkeley location to be “a good store with good products.”
“Despite their controversial brand, I think (Brandy Melville) did have a unique value proposition,” Kharbanda said. “They did sell some unique products that were specifically catered to college students.”
Kharbanda said that she considered Berkeley’s Brandy Melville store to be a “safety net” because of its close proximity to the campus dorms. It was an ideal location for her to shop for last-minute accessories to wear at parties or events, she added.
Hanschen noted the importance of local businesses to the Berkeley economy and she and Bass hope to see a smaller business replace the Brandy Melville store.
“The bigger implication of the store’s closure in Berkeley is that it might send a bad sign to future businesses,” Hanschen said. “I worry that there will be a period of time where there is no business to fill the void.”