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Mary-Kate and Ashley Talk Fashion and Nostalgic Influences

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen attend the CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC on June 5, 2017. Their line The Row was nominated for Womenswear Designer of the Year.

The notoriously private, effortlessly chic Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen turn 31 today.

The twins, who gained fame trough their acting-heavy childhood, have turned into fashion moguls. Now averse to the spotlight, the twins shy away from press junkets, public appearances and even social media.

In March, the duo gave a rare interview to Net-a-Porter’s The Edit Magazine.

“We’re used to being on the other side of the camera and managing the process, so it’s hard for us to do photo shoots now,” Mary-Kate said. “That’s why you have models.”

This would explain why we didn’t see Michelle Tanner in the Fuller House revival last year. The show did, however, allude that Michelle was in New York working in fashion—which was not far from the truth. The fashion-loving twins spend all of their time and energy creating their lines Elizabeth James and The Row.

“I think we’re lucky [working hard] comes quite naturally for us. We don’t need so much time to sit and think and ponder,” Mary-Kate said.

I’ve always been a worker,” said Ashley. “It has taken me a lot to figure out how to take a vacation.”

The twins also attribute their fashion industry success to their understanding of fit. When acting, they spent 15 years doing two fittings per week.

“We would take adult clothing and cut it down to our size, change the proportions. I think from a young age we understood fit in a very different way because we’re so petite,” Mary-Kate said.

The twins’ eye for proportions also comes from their teenage years with stylist Judy Swartz. Swartz recently spoke to Refinery29, saying she contributed to the Olsen’s love for boho-chic layers.

“Well, the layers came from me. It’s how I dress. It comes from my days of dressing rock stars,” Swartz said. “I’m not surprised that layering moved forward with [Mary-Kate and Ashley’s] aesthetics, because it was such a big part of their style growing up.”

Swartz doesn’t take all the credit, and is proud of the Olsen’s fashion lines. She consistently wears pieces from The Row, and receives a special discount from the twins.

“They learned early on what a good design looks like and what people like to wear,” Swartz said. “They obviously took it a thousand steps forward into emulating what their brands are today.”

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