Mary-Kate, Ashley Olsen Discuss Life As Fashion Designers
After building an entertainment empire at the ripe age of six, former child stars Mary-Kate (pictured) and Ashley Olsen are now bona fide fashion designers. Their high end label The Row received a CFDA nomination in the Swarovski emerging womenswear design category. Despite no formal fashion training, the Olsens have watched their fashion careers ignite with the same ferocity as their acting careers did two decades ago.
The 23-year-old sisters discuss their lifelong love affair with fashion, which began when they were little girls on the set of Full House. “We had our observations about fashion changing, when it went from being so eighties to the slipdress and the dark lip. We’d see students coming back from college in grunge. And then [Full House costar] Lori Loughlin had all this great Donna Karan,” Mary-Kate told Vogue. The two both cite the early ‘90s grunge wave as a style inspiration, despite being only six years old when it hit. Among their other loves? Functional, multipurpose chic. “Each of the looks we’ve shown for fall was designed top to toe, but then we thought about how everything should dismantle as separates,” Ashley explained. The Row aims to provide perfect fitting clothes for modern women. “It’s beautifully tailored in a modern way. It just fits, chicly. You know, I look up to them,” said admirer Lauren Hutton, an admitted style icon for the twins themselves. Businesswomen before they had even entered high school, the Olsens attribute their fashion sense to their bevy of female role models both onset and at home. “We grew up with adults, surrounded by a lot of women who had great style,” Mary-Kate said.
While acting may be in more in the past for Ashley than Mary-Kate—she can currently be seen alongside Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens in Beastly—the twins are content with the onscreen legacy they've created. "I am so proud of what we did. We made kids smile every day. But we had done the most we could do,” Ashley said. Fashion is the priority right now, yet the possibilities for the future of the Olsen brand are endless. “The thing about us is we think big. Huge," Mary-Kate said. —EMILY EXTON
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