Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion Will Shock You: All the Biggest Bombshells from the New Documentary

Brandy Hellville & the Cult of Fast Fashion Will Shock You: All the Biggest Bombshells from the New Documentary

HBO's Documentary: Brandy Hellville & The Cult of Fast Fashion

HBO's new doc exposes first-hand accounts of an alleged toxic work environment behind the scenes at the popular clothing brand Brandy Melville

HBO's newest documentary takes a hard look at a Gen Z-beloved retail brand: Brandy Melville.

Brandy Hellville & The Cult of Fast Fashion, directed by Academy Award winner Eva Orner, takes viewers behind the scenes of the company, exposing the inner workings of its marketing strategies, controversies surrounding its sizing policies and its alleged toxic impact on young women's perceptions of body image and fashion.

Throughout the film, which premieres April 9 on HBO and Max, Orner interviews former employees of the company, including store workers, a former vice president, and a store owner, who share their personal accounts of damaging experiences with the brand. Representatives for Brandy Melville have not responded to PEOPLE's multiple requests for comment about the claims in the documentary.

"We spoke to hundreds of ex-employees at Brandy; some of them would share their stories, but they didn't want to go on camera," Orner told PEOPLE in an exclusive interview ahead of the film's release. "I completely understand they are still so young, and they were young when they worked there. They are scared of the company, they're scared of retribution, and they're also scared because they're starting their careers and they don't necessarily want to be seen as a troublemaker by future employers."

"I think one of my biggest shoutouts is to the young women who agreed to be in the film and who are leading this charge," she adds. "They're heroes, and I have so much respect for them."

Below, the nine biggest bombshells alleged in the new exposé:

  1. The name "Brandy Melville" is derived from a fictional storyline about a man and a woman who fall in love.
  2. Brandy Melville founder Silvio Marsan and his son Stephan allegedly required store employees to send daily outfit photos.
  3. Brandy Melville executives would take their favorite female employees on lavish trips.
  4. The brand's problematic "one-size-fits-all" sizing approach was aimed at keeping an exclusive clientele.
  5. Silvio and Stephan Marsan allegedly sent racist, homophobic and antisemitic memes and messages in group chats with a number of Brandy Melville employees.
  6. Customers believed that the brand's "made in Italy" label indicated ethical production, which was unfounded and proven untrue.
  7. Brandy Melville predominantly hired thin, White women. People of color who were employed by the brand were often relegated to working behind closed doors in storage rooms.
  8. Many former Brandy employees struggled with eating disorders while working there.
  9. Ghana and other countries in Africa have become a dumping ground for our unwanted fast fashion.

Brandy Hellville & The Cult of Fast Fashion premieres on HBO on April 9 and is streaming on Max.

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