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Brandy Melville faces allegations of racism and body-shaming by former employees

The popular clothing store is under fire after a popular TikTok user said that the brand used discriminatory hiring practices.
Fashion Retailer Brandy Melville store seen in Passeig de Gr
A former Brandy Melville employee accused the brand of discriminatory hiring practices and of mistreating workers. Keith Mayhew / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

People are calling for boycotts of the fashion brand Brandy Melville after a popular TikTok user, who said she used to work at the chain, accused the store of racist and discriminatory hiring practices in a series of videos.

The first video, which quickly accumulated more than 6.1 million views, was shared on May 24 by user calliejeanxo, who said that she worked at the store for about three months in 2013.

"My second week on the job, someone comes in and they’re like ‘Hi I want to work here,’" Callie said. "And I’m like, ‘Oh, OK, like give me your resume and let me show my boss.’ And she gives me her resume and I go in the back and my boss looks at it for like half a second and she had all this amazing stuff on there and she goes, ‘What does she look like?’"

Callie, who did not clarify her location but said she was on the West Coast, added that when she struggled to describe the applicant's appearance, her boss asked "what race" the candidate was.

"She was like ‘what race is she’ and I (said) ‘Asian’ and she peeked her head up for a second and was like ‘No, tell her we’re not hiring,’" Callie said, describing the experience as "super" awkward.

Over the following two weeks, she shared more than a dozen related videos, each including more details about her time with the brand and responding to questions from commenters.

Neither Callie nor representatives for Brandy Melville responded to TODAY's requests for comment.


Part 8 kind of more like part 1 of questions! ##fyp ##brandymelville

♬ original sound - calliejeanxo

In one video, she said that the brand hires based on a certain look and asked employees to not wear makeup. In another video, she said a store's aesthetic was completely up to the individual manager.

"Every single girl there was gorgeous. It was so intimidating to be working with. And, yes, the majority of them were white. They were really skinny, they were really tall," Callie said. "Clearly it was an aesthetic of that store, which is f***ed up, but if you go onto Brandy in general, you’ll see that they have a certain type of people they hire depending on who that manager is, which is really messed up."

In another video, she said that racist and fat-phobic remarks were made constantly.

Others on social media were quick to support Callie's allegations.

One woman shared her own experience at the store, claiming that the sizing and behavior of some employees led to her developing an eating disorder.

Several posters suggested that shoppers should support Black-owned businesses instead.

It's not the first time the brand has been criticized for a lack of inclusivity. Brandy Melville notoriously offers clothing in just one size. Callie addressed this in her video, saying that she and other employees were instructed on how to explain the policy without "offending" customers.

"I don’t remember it word for word but we literally had a scripted sentence that was like, we aren’t in control of this and it should fit everyone and yada yada," she said in one video. In an earlier video, Callie claimed that the store asked "heavier" employees to share tips on how they could wear items that were too small to fit properly.

"During our meetings, (one girl) had to come up with reasons why our 'one size fits all' would fit her," Callie said. "And she was like ‘I tell people it would be a cute neck scarf if it doesn’t fit as a dress.’ Like, in front of everyone. And our boss was like, ‘OK, that works.’ And all the time people would come up and be like “Why is this one size? This doesn’t fit me.'"

On Brandy Melville's website, the majority of their clothing is described as fitting sizes "X-Small/Small."

In other videos, Callie called the store a "toxic environment" which was so uncomfortable she finally quit.

"I only worked there for three months and it was honestly, like, traumatizing," she said. "I was always worried about what I looked like and what people were going to think of me because of them and the environment they created for me."