Now more than ever, people are experiencing fashion through their phones. In “Screen Time,” fashion writer Emilia Petrarca shares all the screenshots, double taps, and swipes she made this week.
Contrary to popular opinion, I’m convinced that TikTok is making me smarter. With over a billion users on the app, you’re bound to learn something while scrolling through it, and this week, that thing for me happened to be the fact that Brandy Melville sells olive oil.
It’s true. A very smart user who goes by @dumbmackenzie brought this shocking information to my attention on Monday, and I promptly confirmed it with my own quick internet search. In addition to “one-size-fits-most” crop tops, Brandy Melville does indeed sell 16.9-ounce bottles of organic extra-virgin olive oil on its website for $25 a pop. They’re made in Italy on the San Bartolomeo family farm, and that’s about as much information as you’re going to get. There is no Brandy Melville branding anywhere on the bottle, only a cute little chicken logo at the top instead of a pink heart. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself, here.
I have so many questions; my head is spinning. When did Brandy Melville start selling olive oil? Why? How? And to whom??? (Do e-girls like EVOO???) A representative from the brand has not yet responded to my request for more information, so I did some digging on my own.
For starters, I’ve learned that Brandy Melville is an Italian-owned company. According to Wikipedia (which cites a German article titled “Ich bin ein Brandy-Girl”), it was founded by a man named Silvio Marsan in the early ’80s. Its name and heart-shaped logo are inspired by a fictional tale of an American girl named Brandy and an English man named Melville meeting in Rome and falling in love … and then deciding to sell crop tops to teens in California together? Unclear.
It’s all a bit mysterious, but what you need to know is that Brandy Melville is the brainchild of an Italian man who (presumably) became very rich off of the Malibu teen aesthetic — wealthy enough to own his own family farm in the Lazio region north of Rome, where a bunch of chickens and olive trees apparently exist in harmony together. The Olive Oil Times (OOT) reported that San Bartolomeo’s olive oil won a Best in Class Award at the World Olive Oil Competition in 2019, and on Instagram it looks like they’ve won a handful of other awards as well.
I wish I could tell you that organic olive oil is the weirdest thing that Brandy Melville has ever sold, but it’s not. As my colleague Katy Schneider reported back in 2019 in her story about the “secret shame” of shopping at the store, early locations apparently sold copies of Atlas Shrugged, Commentary magazine, and publications from the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute as well. “A little libertarian, freedom-of-choice ideology slipped ironically in between lavender bike shorts and plaid miniskirts that only come in a single size,” she wrote. So I guess I wouldn’t be that surprised if you told me there were bottles of organic extra-virgin olive oil in every dressing room, too. They’d actually be less unsettling by comparison.
“I use it to lube up and slip into my Brandy Melville crop top,” joked one commenter on TikTok of the olive oil. Others asked if it came in multiple sizes.
The most pressing question about the olive oil Brandy Melville sells, though, in my mind at least, is: Is it any good? So I ordered a bottle to my house this week and dipped some bread in it. Turns out, it’s pretty tasty, but just to be sure, I compared it to the nicer olive oil I have and found it to be … exactly the same. I’m no EVOO expert, but I do think it’s safe to say that olive oil is one of the few products Brandy Melville sells that most can actually enjoy.