Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Explain Their "Discreet" Lifestyle in Rare Interview

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen explained their hesitation to be the faces of their fashion brand The Row, which celebrates 15 years this summer.

By Cydney Contreras Jun 14, 2021 9:07 PMTags
Watch: Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen's Growing Fashion Empire

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen continue to distance themselves from their pasts as child stars.

The twin sisters avoided any discussion of their childhoods on Full House, as well as their famous movies, while talking to i-D magazine about their luxury fashion brand The Row. As Mary-Kate told the magazine, they are "discreet people."

"That's how we were raised," she explained. 

Their humble upbringing is one reason why the sisters are a "bit out of practice" when it comes to interviews, according to Mary-Kate. 

Another explanation for their absence from mainstream media is their hesitation to be too closely associated with the clothing brand. Ashley explained, "We didn't want to be in front of it, we didn't necessarily even want to let people know it was us. It was really about the product, to the point where we were like: Who could we get to front this so that we don't have to?"

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And though the sisters were already extremely well-known worldwide, Ashley said they created their fashion house with the hope of "making something of ourselves."

"We had just moved to New York. We were 18 years old and I think what we did know was that we wanted to take that time to take a break from what we were previously doing and to explore things that interested us, and explore what life has to offer..." she said, before Mary-Kate finished her sentence, saying, "Creatively."

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The sisters shared their passion for designing clothes for The Row, calling themselves "perfectionists" as it relates to their brand. Mary-Kate said they strive to make their clothing "luxurious," but not in the way one would expect. For them, she said luxury is "something that makes your life easier."

"The idea that you could buy something off the rack, put it on your body and it already feels like a part of your wardrobe, that's luxury," she explained. "You don't even have to think about it."

Jonah Hill, who wears their items and also has a passion for fashion, weighed in on the twins' success, remarking, "I think because they came from being kid stars—which I wouldn't usually associate with great style—when they started dressing with incredible taste it was a bigger mind-blow for people because it shattered the image that people had of them in their minds."

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Mary-Kate added their success isn't all that surprising since they "had been working in the fashion mass market." As she explained, "We have a pretty good idea of what sells, what doesn't."

However, they did take risks with their launch, opting to forego having a logo or making themselves the official faces of the brand, in favor of letting the clothing speak for itself. Ashley said, "I think, to this day, you'll see we really put the product first."

Gigi Hadid said she appreciates this about the designers, explaining, "They want to put out their art without feeling too exposed or too vulnerable or used for the wrong reasons. They don't want people showing up like ‘I'm here for the Mary-Kate and Ashley show.' They want people to come and respect the clothing."

Elizabeth and James

Likewise, Jonah said he respects their back-to-basics approach to fashion. "I think both women move with extreme taste without ever being gaudy. I like that they don't chase trends. They essentially do what they do and do it better than anyone else without chasing a fad," he stated. "I think you will be safe in 20 years in any photograph where you're wearing The Row. There won't be a, ‘What the hell was I thinking?' moment."