From child-stars to fashion moguls; how did they make it?
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen or the Olsen Twins, as they are known, are probably the most famous set of twins in America. Most of us grew up with the Olsen Twins, they stared the TV sitcom “Full House” from the age of 6 months, for eight years.
At age six they created Dualstar Entertainment, becoming the youngest producers in history. By the time they were 10, they were the youngest millionaires in America! In 2004 they got a joint star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. After the end of the famous sitcom, the Olsen Twins still featured a few movies and other TV shows, but they’ve retired entirely from acting some years ago. The twin sisters were so popular among teens that between the years 2000 and 2005, Mattel produced Mary-Kate and Ashley dolls with various sets of outfits and accessories.
As the girls grew up, so did their interest in fashion, so much in fact that they ended up becoming fashion icons, especially Mary-Kate with her signature boho style, also called “homeless look”, with long flowing dresses, oversized sweaters, huge sunglasses, rings on several fingers and long loose flowing hair. By the way, their love for fashion started very early on; their character in the TV series “Full House” used to wear Marc Jacobs and Chanel!
In 2006, when the sisters were 20 years old, they launched their high-end fashion brand, The Row named after Savile Row, the road in London world-famous for its excellent tailors. Only six years later, the Olsen Twins won the WSJ magazine Innovator of The Year award and received the Womenswear Designer of the Year award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which they received again in 2015.
So how did they manage to go from children-stars to awarded fashion moguls?
We know that star power sells. But the Olsen Twins’ The Row is much more than just one more celebrity line. They have earned the approval and respect of the fashion industry and the demanding upscale clients. In the exclusive high-fashion world, the only other celebrity who's managed to make a place for herself and be taken seriously is the former Spice Girl, Victoria Beckham.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are press-shy and very private, and they are getting more reclusive by the year. They don’t use social media and don’t appear much in the celebrity circuit, which of course gives them an aura of mystery and fuels everybody’s imagination and interest. The only event you can be sure to spot them once a year is the Met Gala at The Metropolitan Museum. They made their much expected red carpet appearance this year looking fabulous as always as if they had just come out of a Fairy Tale.
The twins do not use their celebrity status to promote their label.
On the contrary; their debut was discreet, preferring to show their collection quietly in showrooms, and for the first three years they didn’t do an interview in order to draw the attention to the clothes instead. They wanted to be able to sell the garments without their faces or names behind.
All started with a question: “how to make a perfect T-shirt in a great fabric that would fit any age?”
The Row makes ageless clothes with the best quality materials and fantastic craftsmanship; the elegant pieces do not follow trends.
The sisters felt that there was a gap in the market and decided to make “basics in a luxurious and contemporary way”, in other words; anonymous, basic pieces that you can wear with a Chanel jacket for instance. The Row’s designs are effortlessly chic, refined, minimalist and as cool as the Olsen sisters, this is why their clients, usually between 35 and 60 years old, are ready to spend around $ 5000 for a jacket or $ 39.000 for a backpack, which by the way, is sold out!
Their quiet approach worked well; the stylish sisters were ranked in 2007 as the 11th richest women in entertainment, and in 2017, their combined net fortune was 400 million dollars!
Their store on Melrose, Los Angeles, is furnished with pieces from their own homes and when shopping there, you can enjoy a free lunch or relax by the pool after the exhaustive task of trying on so many perfectly cut and beautiful clothes ;)
Photos via Runway by WSGN and Shutterstock