News & Runway

10 Things to Know About Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

image: Getty

For how often they cover tabloids and glossy magazines and considering they’ve been in the spotlight since their infancy, we know surprisingly little about the Olsen twins. Turns out, there are plenty of facts more interesting than the gossip fodder that we’re consistently fed (like Mary-Kate’s eating disorder and relationship with her much older reported husband Olivier Sarkozy). In addition to never asking them if they, like, actually design their clothes, here’s a look at 10 other things you probably didn’t know about fashion’s most famous twins.

  1. When asked about how they’ve achieved such a high level of credibility, Ashley explained that she and her sister focus on working hard. “We started off working with Wal-Mart on our first clothing line as an extension of our personal brand when we were 12, and we got to learn about being aware of what was in the market and what wasn’t.” They’ve come a long way since those days, however. “I think The Row skews toward an older market—an educated consumer who’s been shopping for years. The main thing we thought was lacking in the luxury market were basic pieces that could break up an outfit so you didn’t feel like you were totally dressed in one designer. You could add some ease and comfort, tone it down.”
  2. Despite their mass market start, the twins grew up wearing designer fashions. According to Interview, they’ve been wearing samples from the likes of Marc Jacobs and Chanel, cut down to children’s size, from the age of 6.

  3. At one point, the duo’s involvement in the Full House spinoff was not out of the question. According to a story in WWD, “I guess we’re going to talk to the creators and see what’s happening,” said Mary-Kate, while Ashley said she was “going to call [Saget] and get his perspective.”
  4. A lifetime spent working together will inevitably have its ups and downs. When asked how she navigates them, Mary-Kate explained: “We don’t agree all the time. The way we go about business or designing or making a decision is that we come at it from two completely different angles that at the end of the day, even when we don’t think we’re agreeing with each other, we are agreeing. We’re just getting there in different ways. Unless you’re a twin, you honestly can’t know how close twins can be.”
  5. When ELLE asked the twins what’s on their wishlist a few months ago, they mentioned a “rare” vintage Van Cleef cigarette lighter and a bundle of smudge sticks, both of which were marked “price upon request.”
  6. Hairstylist Mark Townsend has been working with the Olsens for 13 years. When asked about their hair, he explained that they’re both minimalists. Mary-Kate’s biggest rule: “No more than 5 hairpins ever.” Townsend has also revealed that they love a DIY mix that he made for them. “I recently made up a conditioner for the girls to take with them on their vacations and told them to put it in their hair before swimming and while in the sun; it was coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E. All things I picked up at the health food store! When they got back, they both asked me for more and I could feel a huge difference in their hair. They use it a couple times a week and leave it in for up to an hour.”
  7. When asked about the foods that give them “the warm and fuzzies,” Mary-Kate said, “I think it’s coffee for me. It feels like a part of my childhood. It was something that I smelled a lot. It just reminds me of having a routine in the morning.” For her part, Ashley revealed that it’s popcorn. “It’s not my favorite food but the smell is fantastic and it always makes you want to eat it. I don’t eat a lot of popcorn in the movie theaters, but the scent is really great.”
  8. When asked about who she looks to for style inspiration, Mary-Kate pointed to Gigi Hadid, telling Vogue U.K., “whether she’s on the carpet or the street, she always looks effortless and cool.”
  9. Do either girls have a belly button ring? Probably not, but we’ll never know. “When we were growing up, our mother taught us never to have your belly button exposed,” Mary-Kate explained.
  10. When it comes to makeup, they keep it minimal, especially on their days off. The one product they don’t leave home without, however, is Brave Soldier Lip Defender. “It’s more like skincare for your lips than a lip balm,” Mary-Kate explained.