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The Olsen Twins’ Fashion Empire

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen

If empire sounds like a an exaggerated description, here’s a little fact for context – their company Dualstar has long crossed over $1 Billion in annual revenues and continues to grow with every year. They own and operate two full-fledged luxury and contemporary fashion brands that aren’t your typical ‘celebrity labels’ put out there by publicists for visibility, but genuinely innovative designs that do their bit to contribute to the industry with each of its season’s collections.

These young ladies have a business savvy head on their shoulders which might come as a surprise to those who have grown up watching the twins as toddlers on television. Who would have fathomed then that as a rare exception, childhood stardom could also result to a stellar successful adulthood, not necessarily in the same field either. Something that started in their teens as an extension of their popularity to market clothes to young girls clearly made them aware of their talents and gave them an opportunity to explore it to the best degree.

After spending eighteen years of their lives (since birth) acting in shows and movies, the twins decided to call it quits in the city of LA and moved base to NYC to start their full-time fashion careers. And so in 2006 at the ripe old age of 20, they launched their first label, called ‘The Row’ generically named after the Savile Row of London with a humble showroom presentation to retail buyers who had seen way to many ‘celebrity lines’ crash and burn even before their four seasons were up.  But the girls knew their stuff down to the technicalities and processes of garment making and have since won the confidence of naysayers many times over.

picture: mundofemenino.do

picture: mundofemenino.do

In 2007, they launched another brand, called ‘Elizabeth and James’ after their other two siblings (extra points for familial ties). While The Row is positioned as a minimalist luxury brand for go-to basics in the best of materials, fits and construction, Elizabeth and James has become synonymous with a hipper, trendier vibe that gels with a more youthful audience. Apart from that, the designer-duo does brand collaborations and lines for other brands.

Six years after the launch of their first brand, the Council of Fashion Designers of America named them Womenswear Designers of the Year (2012). Guess by then, all doubts of their capabilities were well cleared. The aesthetic of both lines has more or less been influenced by the twins’ own sense of personal style which has been described as hobo-chic, which as the name suggests is suggestive of a hobo lifestyle. We’d have to say it is stylish in an ironic way. The brands though temper the aesthetic to appeal to a wider audience.

The Row

Aesthetic: clean, minimal, luxe (furs, precious skins) classics and separates

Showcase: New York Fashion Week

Season Collections: Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter, Pre-Fall, Resort

Products: Womenswear, leather goods

Website: therow.com

The Row // picture: latimes

The Row // picture: latimes

Elizabeth and James

Aesthetic: contemporary, youthful, trendy

Showcase: New York Fashion Week

Season Collections: Spring/Summer, Fall/Winter, Resort, Holiday

Products: Womenswear, handbags, jewelry, eyewear, fragrance

Website: elizabethandjames.us

picture: elizabethandjames

picture: elizabethandjames

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