How To Master The French Braid
Today Mary Kate and Ashley turn 28, so what better way to celebrate than by taking a look at their fashion evolution and charting how they became such pint-sized fashion powerhouses.
The Olsen's started their career when they were just six months old, playing Michelle Tanner on the sitcom Full House from 1987 - 1995. In an interview with The Edit Ashley credits the show as sparking their love of fashion (and stamina for unsociable working hours) as she said '[On Full House] we'd be in six-hour fittings three times a week, because we had to wear 12 different outfits. We were designing clothes for ourselves as we were so petite.' She adds: 'So I think that is when we became obsessed with fit, and now the obsession has become a profession.'
With those adorbs bows in their hair and poofy 90s party frocks, Michelle is still the cutest kid on TV EVER. So put in your headphones and watch their best moments from their time on Full House below. Warning - it's impossible not to coo n'awww.
Then MK and A filmed music videos, where they performed synchronised dance routines and sang about seven year old problems, such as how annoying brothers are and how to be brave. In 1992 the 6-year-olds released their first album, Brother for Sale, which sold 325,000 copies. Sorry girls, but this is too good not to share...
In 1993 when they were just seven years old they set up their own company Dualstar, they also became the youngest producers in Hollywood at 6 years old. Mary Kate said 'we knew what was going on, but it was about listening and understanding the process.' Ashley added: 'It's a completely different language learning about financed and branding, our parents felt strongly about being in those meetings whether we understood it or not, that we started to understand the language of business.'
In 1995 the girls starred in their first big-screen movie, It Takes Two, alongside Steve Guttenberg and Kirstie Alley. In case you haven't seen it it's the Olsens own Parent Trap - they don't know they have a twin, they then find their twin, swap places and start plotting to get their guardians to fall in love. Are you ready to see the best food fight EVER in It Takes Two?
Any true child of the 90s will have spent many sleepovers watching Mary Kate and Ashley's straight to video movies. The acting isn't always the best, but you can travel to Rome, Sydney, Bahamas, Paris, London and Aspen via their adventure flicks. The plots were slightly dubious - they played 7-year-old detectives and operated a space craft at age 10, but that's why we love 'em.
As they got older they wanted to be known as more than just the 'Olsen twins,' pursuing individual projects and getting their own signature styles. They even dyed their hair... when Mary Kate was blonde, Ashley was brunette and vice versa. New York Minute was the last time they acted together, but Mary Kate had a cameo in the Warhol flick Factory Girl and starred in Weeds as a Jesus-loving, weed-smoking teen.
Then the twins discovered baggy cardigans, vintage tees, oversized sunnies and realised that twenty rings was better than one - the 'homeless' look was born. The New York Times declared Mary Kate a fashion icon for her signature boho look.
In 2006 the twins scored a print campaign with couture house Badgley Mischka. The designers said about the icons: 'Ashley and Mary-Kate have grown up to become America's young style icons. They have an amazing sense of fashion and individuality that intrigued us.'
MK and A became front row regulars, hitting Burberry, Chanel and J. Mendel to name a few. Their front row staple is a gigantic pair of shades. They then created a style scrapbook, Influence, where they interviewed fashion greats such as John Galliano, Christian Louboutin, Terry Richardson and Karl Lagerfeld. It's been five years and it's still a coffee table centrepiece.
MK and Ash had their first line when they were just ten (gulp). In 2006 they launched their own brand THE ROW, aiming to create the core wearable part of a wardrobe built up of designer clothes. Watch the girls talk about their fashion brand below...
In 2012 they were crowned Womenswear Designers of the Year by Council of Fashion Designers of America. Watch them accept their awards, dressed in gowns by The ROW (natch), below...
Those Olsen twins have a bit of a rep for steep prices, but when Mary Kate and Ashley brought out their $39,000 alligator skin backpack we thought it would be the most expensive handbag ever. Then the designing duo splattered their classic backpack with prescription pills and notched the price up to an eye-watering $55,000. Yikes. But wait, these aren’t just any old pills, THIS is the work of artist Damien Hirst. The backpack was one of 12 sold on behalf of Just One Eye, with designs including Mr Hirst's signature coloured spots as well as large gold polka dots.
MK and A launched a fragrance back in 2013 for their contemporary label Elizabeth and James. They said to WWD: 'We always knew we wanted to have a fragrance for this brand, because it's very lifestyle. 'We felt that between the brand Elizabeth and James and Sephora that we were really speaking together directly to our customer. We felt that was a really good place to start exploring the world of fragrance and beauty.'
Now you can go shopping with the Olsens (kind of), as in 2014 they announced their debut The Row store. The location? Melrose Place in Los Angeles. The signficance? Well, of course, there are more than enough wealthy and well-dressed types who will be flocking through those doors, but the exact spot used to be a salon where the girls had their hair cut as teens. N'aww.
They no longer live together, but they said they are 'probably together more than everyone thinks' as they work together on their clothing line every single day. Oh we want to be an Olsen twin.
Want to see even more of Mary Kate and Ashley? Take a look at some of their greatest style hits in the gallery above. Happy Birthday girls! We hope you celebrate with cake, Michelle Tanner style.
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