TBT: How the Olsen Twins became true fashion icons

Oversized designer handbags, frock-like dresses, sunken cheekbones and unkempt beach waves – Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have risen to the fashion Olympus not only through their self-founded fashion label The Row. Their street styles are spreading around the world like wildfire and have been continuously inspiring fashion enthusiasts around the globe since 2006. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen became world famous for their dual role of Michelle in Full House. The twins achieved international fame even as toddlers and thus joined the ranks of Hollywood child stars. In addition to several leading roles in teen movies such as New York Minute, their acting career reached its peak between 2000 and 2005. 

During this time, the fraternal twins became pop culture icons. Already in their early teens, they set trends that had a lasting impact on the style of the decade.  With popularity, however, came rumors.  The twins had debauched lifestyles, partied in New York’s most notorious clubs and were rumored to have abused drugs. Mary-Kate was always the one the press relied on the most when it came to rumors. In the late 2000s, she was rumored to have an eating disorder, as worrying paparazzi pictures made the rounds of MK hiding behind big sunglasses and a Balenciaga City Bag, with only her matchstick-like legs showing. To briefly clarify, the case of the Olsen twins, especially when talking about their sensitive rumors, is nothing different from the case of Britney Spears – except that the twins have more or less made it out of the limelight. But to get to the bottom of their style, it’s hard to ignore the paparazzi pictures of the two because it’s these that are still authoritative for followers of the street style and high fashion cult. 

For example, MK and Ashley were the pioneers of the It bag. They defined the must-have designer handbag in their early twenties and at that time the motto was: The bigger the better – This could also be directly applied to the style of sunglasses, because they were rarely seen without immensely large frames. 

While many fans at the time wondered: what happened to the cute Olsen Twins? The fashionistas, who were still hobby enthusiasts at the time, withdrew from the film business and founded their own fashion label called The Row in 2006. 

The story of The Row began with the perfect cut of a high quality processed t-shirt because the twins are, as easily suspected, very much about silhouettes. With The Row, the former actresses created a serious fashion company, even if, according to the twins’ own statements, it was very difficult to establish themselves at the beginning.  Because especially celebrities who want to “try out” in fashion, are very closely scrutinized by the very strict fashion scene. But Mary-Kate and Ashley did not give up and pushed their company to become the leading American luxury brand in terms of presence and minimalism. 

It’s often small details that make The Row’s designs, as well as the two designers’ current private outfits, special. Structures of accessories, seams, subtle color contrasts to the otherwise monochrome outfit and as already mentioned the shape of the silhouette.  

With their very sensitive sense of fashion, the Olsen Twins have achieved a unique selling point in the celebrity world and helped their company to achieve many years of success, which is possibly also due to their private style. Although outwardly they may seem more like two witches who know exactly what day you die, this mystical charisma, their extraordinary zeal for work and their perfection for details make them exactly the kind of businesswomen who push and reinforce the image of women in leadership positions.