When Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen unveiled their luxe fashion brand The Row in 2006, few expected the slouchy sweaters and wide-leg pants cut of the most luxurious fabrics to garner the wildly loyal following it has. Dubbed “Boho Chic” or “Bohemian Bourgeois”, by fashion journalists, the look became a uniform for a young generation who favoured oversized silhouettes and big sunglasses. The pair has quietly built one of the most influential designer fashion brands in the world. That title was all but confirmed in 2012, when the Council of Fashion Designers of America crowned them “Women’s Wear Designers of the Year”. I interviewed the pair a few years ago. Here’s a peek into their fascinating world.
Dave: To start, what is your skincare regime?
Mary-Kate & Ashley: We usually follow the same beauty routine each morning and night. We cleanse using Darphin products, sometimes apply a light scrub to exfoliate, tone and apply eye cream. We use Neocutis moisturizer. It’s a Swiss brand that we love.
D.L.: What beauty products do you always carry in your bag?
Ashley: In my makeup bag, I carry lip gloss, an eyelash curler, Dior pink creamy blush and our own bronzer. I never leave home without Purell Hand Sanitizer. I use it at least three times a day.
The Row, Spring 2015 Collection
Mary-Kate: I love a natural lip gloss, satin summer eyeshadow, and bronzer. It’s especially great when I’m in New York during the winter.
D.L.: Do both of you have similar tastes in beauty & fragrance? How do you agree on new products?
Mary-Kate: Ashley and I have similar tastes but tend to put different spins on specific products. When developing new cosmetic or fragrance products, we work closely with our partners to ensure we fulfill the needs of our customer. We look at the trends in the marketplace and build our product categories from there.
D.L.: Have your personal tastes in fragrance changed over the years? What scents do you like now?
Ashley: I think personal tastes in fragrance are always evolving. A few years ago, I was more drawn to sweet scents like honeysuckle and gardenia. Currently, I’m drawn to musk, masculine scents.
MK: I agree with Ashley. Rose is one of my favourite scents right now.
D.L.: Describe a typical day in your lives.
Both: Everyday is different. Many days we juggle studies, auditioning and work. No one day is just like the next which is the way we like it.
D.L.: What’s been the single most-exciting moment in your careers so far?
Both: It’s too hard to single out one moment from the past two decades. Full House was the beginning of it all and the case is like our second family. Our direct to video movies allowed us to travel around the world and meet amazing people. Have the opportunity to create and sustain our own brand, including apparel, health and beauty, and home lines is a great accomplishment. We learn something new everyday and honestly don’t look back, only look for ways to improve and expand our company.
D.L: What is your impression of Canada?
Both: We love Canada. We filmed “It Takes Two”, “How the West was Fun”, “To Grandmother’s House We Go”, “Double Double Toil and Trouble”, “Switching Roles”, and “New York Minute” throughout Canada. Vancouver, Banff and Toronto are just a few of the beautiful places we filmed. Everyone is so friendly. We feel like Canada is our second home. As always, the fans are always amazing there.
D.L.: You both are role models to so many young girls. What piece of advice would you share with them?
Both: First, stay true to yourself. Believe in your dreams. “No” is a full sentence. Don’t ever let someone tell you something isn’t possible. And, you’ll never be able to please everyone so focus on yourself and do what is right for you.
D.L.: What is on your iPod right now?
MK: The Killers
D.L.: You both lead such stressful, busy lives. How do you decompress?
Ashley: I enjoy yoga, getting massages, watching movies, playing golf, and spending quality time with friends and family.
MK: I enjoy yoga, riding my horse, spending time with friends and seeing movies, photography and art