Brandy Melville's 'evil' culture — Peloton's clothing brand — Vietnam's 'last paradise'

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Happy Friday, readers! Welcome to another edition of Insider Life. This week, Brandy Melville employees describe toxic conditions at the fast-fashion brand, and a French couple gives us an inside look at their sprawling Balinese villa. Plus, we have a glimpse into Phu Quoc, an island once hailed as Vietnam's "last paradise."

Now, without further ado… 

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Girl with Brandy Melville sign

Brandy Melville employees have come forward to describe an "evil" cult teen brand — one where they say execs share texts containing racist, sexist, and antisemitic jokes, and discriminate against workers who aren't young, thin, pretty, and white. 

What workers are saying about Brandy Melville's culture.


Peloton's new apparel collection

Peloton is launching its own clothing brand, putting it in direct competition with Lululemon and Nike, brands it had previously partnered with. Called Peloton Apparel, the clothing line will offer a mix of men's, women's, and gender-neutral styles, costing between $15 and $118.

Get the rundown on Peloton Apparel.


An empty beach in Vietnam

Phu Quoc was once hailed as Vietnam's "last paradise," with white-sand beaches and flourishing forest ecosystems. But now, development has ramped up across the island, adding thousands of villas and hotel rooms, clubs, and a casino — and changing the island's identity. 

How Phu Quoc became an unrecognizable version of itself.


Darcy Stacom, Head of the NYC Capital Markets Group at CBRE, with a crown dangling off her hand surrounded by StuyTown apartments, GM Building, Chelsea Market signage, and the Chrysler building with the Statue of Liberty and pigeons behind her on a red background.

For years, Darcy Stacom has reigned over New York City's commercial-real-estate scene, raking in $60 billion in sales and earning the title of the "Queen of the Skyscrapers." But staffers say behind the accolades is a hot-headed exec who throws things, berates underlings, and makes employees' lives miserable. 

Inside the world of Skyscraper queen Darcy Stacom.


An exterior shot of the primary-bedroom villa at Villa Zelie in Bali.

In 2011, a French couple purchased a villa in Bali without ever having seen it in person — and quickly realized they had stumbled upon a true oasis. The couple spent two years turning the property into a private compound complete with five bedrooms, 10 pavilions, and a 60-foot swimming pool.

Take a look inside the sprawling villa.


woman shopping and smiling at the camera

By day, Ania Schwartzman is a school psychologist who helps students navigate their academic and social lives. But at night and on the weekends, she's a personal stylist, helping create the perfect wardrobe for high-powered New York City professionals.

See what it's like to be a professional-image consultant in NYC.


Plus… 

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