Growing up as a typical girl in the 1990s, I couldn’t help but love Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. But after watching them in The Full House and the series of subpar television shows succeeding that, I soon felt like I had out grown them. They didn’t exhibit extraordinarily talent – at least not as much as I felt was expected for their level of fame and success. After reading their latest book, Influenced, I felt, well, influenced.


It isn’t the overly dramatic, drawn out autobiography reflecting that age-old psychological tendency to make yourself look better in the past that most celebrities release for an easy million. The twins’ genuine attempt to stray from the typical celebrity book is evident. Their book focused more on their influences from Lauren Hutton to Diana Von Furstenberg, who don’t have the mainstream success that the Olsens do, but do have a vision that the twins strive toward. By interviewing their heroes, they showed us a bit of themselves as well. Mary Kate is a lot more like her 22-year-old peers than her sister, Ashley, as she definitely gravitates towards bohemian chic, Warholian styles that underlie her raw talent and desire to experiment with mixing mediums from different fabrics to different colors. Ashley has a lot more of the studious, observant behavior of her heroes, careful about developing a chic, sophisticated line with her upscale line, The Row.


The Olsens demonstrate their impressive abilities to advertise themselves despite Mary Kate saying in a questionnaire between each other that she hates the media more than anything else. It is that media that they use to their advantage to sell this book and sustain their multibillion-dollar companies.


The book is ultimately a great coffee table book with amazing photography, fashion designs, quick-to-read interviews, and charming takes on their lives in the spotlight. I would definitely recommend it for an afternoon in Starbucks or a light read on the train.


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