Mary-Kate & Ashley Just Revealed the Real Reason We Never See Them
In a rare interview, the women get candid about why they're so discreet.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been in the spotlight since they were six months old and appeared on Full House. As the series came to an end, the twins began starring in a series of films until they were 18 years old and off to college—at which point the two worked to shed their public personas. Together, the Olsen twins started a successful fashion brand called The Row, where they work daily and try to remain anonymous. Mary-Kate and Ashley rarely sit down for interviews anymore, but for the 15th anniversary of their company, they chatted with i-D Magazine, revealing (among other things) why you never see them anymore. Read on to find out what's behind the twins' private lives.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen say they want to be "discreet."
As i-D Magazine notes, The Row has often been referred to as "discreet" and "modest" attire. In the twins' interview with the magazine, Mary-Kate said they "were raised to be discreet people," even though they were in a very public-facing profession growing up. Neither of the twins uses social media, shops online, or does many interviews. "We're a bit out of practice," Mary-Kate said ahead of the chat. After years of being the center of Hollywood's attention, they wanted to take some time away from that, and they've never gone back.
Ashley told i-D that before they started The Row, "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 … We wanted to explore making something of ourselves."
The twins didn't want to be the faces of their clothing brand.
The women wanted to be discreet not only in their personal lives, but also professionally. "We really didn't want to be in front of it," Ashley said of their fashion brand. "We didn't necessarily even want to let people know it was us, in a way. I mean, it was one of those things where it was really about the product, to the point where we're like, 'Who could we get to kind of front this, so we don't have to?' I think, to this day, you'll see we really put the product first."
Model Gigi Hadid has worked with Mary-Kate and Ashley for many years, and only had positive things to say about their work ethic. "When you go into their office, and you see their desks, you can tell that they work there," she told i-D. "They're there every day, and their desks are within and amongst the people that work with them at the office. I really respect that."
The Row is a popular choice for celebrities because of the discretion.
While fashion shows are often chaotic, high-profile, and overly publicized, a show with The Row is different, because it stems from Mary-Kate and Ashley. "When I think about being in their shows, it's something that's very calm, quiet, not over-exposed. They don't have a thousand photographers backstage. There are not even that many photographers on the runway. That comes from them," Hadid said. "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."
Hadid says this is the reason she feels "very understood by them." While walking in their shows, the model told i-D, "I don't feel taken advantage of." Hadid is not the only celebrity who feels comfortable in Mary-Kate and Ashley's clothing. Zoë Kravitz and Jonah Hill also told i-D Magazine they love the brand.
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Mary-Kate and Ashley let the clothing speak for them.
While many people originally felt like The Row was going to be just another celebrity clothing line, Mary-Kate and Ashley let the clothing speak for itself. "I think everybody probably was a little taken aback by the fact that they really knew what they were doing, because in a way you just kind of like, 'OK, here comes another celebrity trying to be a designer!'" Canadian model Yasmin Warsame told i-D. "But, because of the quality of their work, they didn't really have to make a lot of noise with themselves. They just let the clothes be silently loud, and that's how the world kind of woke up to it."
Hill acknowledged that with Mary-Kate and Ashley's past as child stars, he wasn't expecting much from their clothing line, but he was pleasantly surprised. "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," he said.