Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Row, Ashley & Mary-Kate

following from

The Future Of Fashion, Part Eight: 
Ashley And Mary-Kate Olsen

May 26, 2011  10:14 am
In this ongoing series,’s editor in chief, Dirk Standen, talks to a number of leading industry figures about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for the fashion business.

"Dualstar, the world headquarters of Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen’s numerous enterprises, isn’t some high-tech fortress. Set on a nondescript Chelsea block, it’s a low-key loft building that seems to have evaded condo-ization. Step inside and you could be entering the studio of any up-and-coming downtown designer. There are the bare wood floors, the nice flowers, the cartons of takeout food. It’s all very normal, and you sense that’s important to these refugees from massive childhood fame.

At a stage in life where many of their peers are vying for a slot on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew, the Olsens are appearing in 130 stores worldwide with their luxury fashion label The Row, and they have been nominated for the Swarovski Award for Womenswear, the top honor for emerging talent, at next month’s Council of Fashion Designers of America gala. They are among the few celebrities to make critically acclaimed clothes (Ashley, left, long ago gave up acting and Mary-Kate now says she is too busy to pursue it, too), and nothing is typical about their approach. They sell their line Olsenboye to JCPenney at the same time that they sell The Row to Bergdorf Goodman, they deliberately aim The Row at women much older than themselves, and though they were born into the digital generation, their embrace of social media is a wary one. Still just 24, they are literally part of the future of fashion.

In conversation, the sisters are by turns articulate and guarded. They’ve done the media dance before and they’re not going to be drawn out of their comfort zone. Ask them about John Galliano’s meltdown and you won’t get much. Ashley: “I think he’s an amazing designer.” Mary-Kate: “I think he’s a brilliant designer.” That’s not to say they lack warmth. They laugh frequently, and though they speak in soft tones, they’re not afraid to meet your gaze with their startled, green-tinted eyes. Ashley is in some ways the designated spokesperson for the pair, Mary-Kate the quieter and funnier one, but their roles are more fluid than that, and yes, they frequently complete each other’s sentences. Here they shed some light on the design process behind The Row, the accidental way they became fashion icons, and the reason Twitter makes them anxious."

There is a lengthy interview with the girls included, if you would like to read it, please 

As my regular readers already know, I believe Tom Ford and the Olsen sisters 
(along with Marc Jacobs) 
are the most
important people in the fashion business today, worldwide.

the reason:  
very simple, they are trail blazers,
unafraid to do something drastically different.