WHY IS BRANDY MELVILLE SO POPULAR IN CHINA?
This fast fashion brand entered the Chinese market at the best possible time, its style of small sizes, typical popular, blonde, american girl who spends her time on the beach with her friends and a 90s air could not come at a better time. With icons such as the singers of the famous K-pop group Blackpink wearing this light and fresh style and the famous model Kylie Jenner seen several times wearing the clothes of this retail brand, the chinese market is finally ready for a change of style and leaving a bit of modesty behind.
The origin of the retail brand Brandy Melville is italian, created in 1970 by Silvio Marsan and his son Stephan Marsan. The brand has it's own fictional story: An american girl called Brandy meets an english boy called Melville in Rome and they fall in love.
Their first retail store opened in 2009 in Los Angeles and by 2015 they already had 95 stores worldwide. The brand is characterized by establishing the fashion trend of the moment, its 'cool' and 'insta worthy' factor and being fast-fashion. His 'one size fits all' strategy has drawn a lot of criticism, on many occasions they were too small to fit everyone with the brand focusing on the UK 4-6 size, this decision eliminates many customers but also helps them with a popularity factor, giving an exclusive 'skinny' image to its clients. The brand defends its position saying that many of the garments are oversize, loose-fitting and made with elastic fabric to include a lot range of clients. This size problem is not as controversial in Asia and many of the clothes in these countries are already sold in one size. Also, the research team is made of teenagers who identify with the brand and look for ideas and trends to incorporate into it, this is a fundamental part of its success. Back to China, more than a decade ago, the fast-fashion giant Forever 21 tried to enter the China's fashion maret but it was not prepared for the drastical change, the style that was sought was not that and the young women did not like to show their skin as much nor did they identify with the brand. It was a hard blow for Forever21 and after a decade of trying they finally retreated from the chinese market. Now the market is led by Brandy Melville, the physical location of the chinese store surrounded by small very instagrammable cafes.
It's clear why it succeded in China. A strategy of one size fits all that works best in the asian size average plus the use social media almost exclusively to advertise themselves, very much in line with new generations and with the addition of very low prices (being able to have a set for less than $ 40). This is a new big step for the fast-fashion brand, we can only hope that with the sustainability ganing it's voice and becoming trendy they can get in the train and reinvent themselves.
By Aliya Akhunova