Designer Spotlight: Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen

They’ve been working in the entertainment industry for more than 90% of their lives and when acting was no longer on their radar these two smart, beautiful and successful sisters didn’t just sit in a lap of luxury and live off their already multi-million dollar business no, they broke into the wonderful world of fashion.

In 2006 Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launched their first ready-to-wear collection The Row, named after Savile Row, a street in London that is renowned for its fine tailoring shops. This brand started with the idea of the perfectly draped t-shirt and has evolved into an extreme luxury line that is not a trend-based brand but rather is dictated by what their clients want to wear. The twins are heavily involved in every step of the design process, from deciding on the silhouettes and designs, to choosing fabrics, to the draping and beyond. In fact, in 2012 they won the prestigious CFDA award for women’s wear designer of the year and in 2014 they won again but this time for accessories designer of the year for The Row.

Designer Spotlight: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Designer Spotlight: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen by fashion-mama-aquarius featuring a red skirt

After the success of their first brand Mary-Kate and Ashley decided to create a more affordable (but still high quality) line called Elizabeth and James which was a means to display their vintage finds and has a more contemporary feel than the Row. The Elizabeth and James website explains their brand essence best, “Elizabeth and James brings together two dynamic personalities into exquisite balance. They perfectly complement one another in a beautiful contradiction. Elizabeth’s uptown sophistication and feminine detail is paired with James’ laid back, downtown edge and masculine tailoring. Individually, each would be incomplete. Together, they are striking in perfection. For Elizabeth and James, the magic is in the mix.” [1]

Designer Spotlight: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Designer Spotlight: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen by fashion-mama-aquarius featuring stud earrings

Elizabeth and James black dress, 525 CAD / Elizabeth and James top, 265 CAD / Elizabeth and James clothing, 305 CAD / Elizabeth and James pencil skirt, 220 CAD / Elizabeth and James leather shoes, 115 CAD / Elizabeth and James clutch, 415 CAD / Elizabeth and James bracelet, 210 CAD / Elizabeth and James ring, 190 CAD / Elizabeth and James stud earrings, 165 CAD / Elizabeth and James sunglasses, 205 CAD

That’s not all for this talented sister team, they have also created the line Olsenboye for J.C. Penney, A t-shirt site called StyleMint which includes new t-shirt designs every month and to which you can subscribe to, and in 2013 they launched a new fashion line in Oslo, Noway in collaboration with the Norwegian retailer Bik Bok.

Personally the Row is my favourite line (obviously!) right from the first collection it has be-spelled me, I love that the pieces they create are classic, well-tailored pieces made from the highest possible quality materials. The designs feel current and of-the-moment without being trendy. If one could afford to buy just a few of their pieces they would be in you closet for the rest of your life, and with the proper care, could be passed down to the younger generations. What’s my favourite collection for the Row? It would be very difficult to choose just one, but the one that stands out in my head will always be their fall 2011 ready-to-wear collection, (if you’re not a fan of fur, this one may not be your thing, I’m all for animals rights but this collection is beautiful none-the-less) the tailoring is crisp, the looks are lady-like and the silhouettes classic. There was lace, fur, and leather, the colours were a vibrant mustard yellow, a rich chocolate brown, shiny black and even a leopard print pattern. This was “the one” for me but what’s your favourite?

Tweet your favourite to @Roxy_Erin18 using the hash tag #TheRowFav!

Stay-tuned for more Look Book photos soon!




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