The Row, from Celebrity Brand to Womenswear Designers of the Year

19 Jul

 

MARY-KATE-AND-ASHLEY-OLSEN

Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Fuller Olsen (born June 13, 1986), also known as the Olsen twins collectively, are American actresses and fashion designers. The twins made their acting debut as infants playing Michelle Tanner on the television series Full House. At the age of six, they began starring together in TV, film, and video projects, which continued to their teenage years. Through their company Dualstar, the Olsens joined the ranks of the wealthiest women in the entertainment industry at a young age.

The Olsens had a clothing line for girls ages 4–14 in Wal-Mart stores across North America, as well as a beauty line called “Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real fashion for real girls“. In 2004, they made news by signing a pledge to allow full maternity leave to all the workers that sew their line of clothing in Bangladesh. The National Labor Committee, which organized the pledge, praised the twins for their commitment to worker rights.

Mary-Kate & Ashley Boho style

The Olsen twins

Olsen boho style

Olsen twins

As the sisters matured, they expressed greater interest in their fashion choices, with The New York Times declaring Mary-Kate a fashion icon for pioneering her signature (and now popular among celebrities and fans alike) “homeless” look. The style, sometimes referred to by fashion journalists as “ashcan” or “bohemian-bourgeois“, is similar to the boho-chic style popularized in Britain by Kate Moss. The look consists of oversized sunglasses, boots, loose sweaters, and flowing skirts, with an aesthetic of mixing high-end and low-end pieces. The twins were tapped as the faces of upscale fashion line Badgley Mischka in 2006.

In 2006 the Olsens launched their own fashion label, “The Row“, named after Savile Row in London.In 2007, they launched Elizabeth & James, a contemporary collection inspired by many of their unique vintage finds and pieces in their personal wardrobes. They have also released a women’s clothing line for J.C. Penney, called Olsenboye, and a T-shirt line called “StyleMint”. In 2008, the sisters published the book Influence, a compilation of interviews with many of the most prominent people in the field of fashion. In 2012, Mary Kate and Ashley were named Womenswear Designers of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for their brand The Row.

The Row speaks fashion’s language. It’s luxurious, understated and minimalist, without being boring. Now nearly 10 years in the business, they have nailed a sort of loungy minimalism as their aesthetic – a tiny nod to Mary-Kate’s style, but without a floppy fedora in sight. Rather than wanting to look like the founders, fashion insiders just want to wear the clothes. It helps that they’re reassuringly expensive. A backpack this season retails at nearly £2,700, while a white cotton shirt is £690. A previous bag design, an alligator backpack, was famously priced at £22,950. That puts it up there with the priciest of luxury brands, Saint Laurent and Céline and, without shouting about it, that’s a statement of intent. This is the territory that The Row want to enter, going from celebrity brand to the upper positions of the fashion industry.

The Row collections

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

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Book

Front-back book cover

Influence

Influence

Influence

Influence

Influence is about the Olsen twins’ influences in fashion and style, the book includes interviews with: Karl Lagerfeld Diane Von Furstenberg John Galliano Lauren Hutton Christian Louboutin amongst many others.

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Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen in New York, NY (Photo by Don Parks/WireImage)

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