The designers opened up to British Vogue for the magazine’s April 2019 issue, using the profile to stress that they are professionals who just want to design and sell elegant clothes for the Row, their luxe label started in a college dorm in 2006.
“We’ve been there, we’ve done that, we started out that way,” Mary-Kate said of their come-up in Hollywood. “But this is the way we chose to move forward in our lives: to not be in the spotlight, to really have something that speaks for itself,” she continued. “It was very hard at the beginning,” Ashley admitted, noting that their status as ubiquitous celebrities in the ’90s and early ’00s could often cloud the judgment of a buyer when they first started out as designers demanding to be taken seriously.
Despite the fact that the Row hosts an intimate presentation during New York Fashion Week—as opposed to a full-scale, celeb-attended runway show—and barely advertises, business for the Olsens has done nothing but boom. Their label has become so popular that the designers have decided to bring their brick-and-mortar store to London. “We love curating; we love discovering new products and vintage pieces,” Ashley said. “And London will be totally different, but very much The Row,” Mary-Kate continued. “There’s still a craft in London. There’s authenticity; there are a lot of artisans that are based there,” she said, while Ashley added that the “amazing” art scene was a big draw for the move.
Last summer, the twins gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal in which they opened up about the difficulties and rewards of working with a sibling, comparing their relationship as businesswomen to a “marriage or partnership,” a sentiment they echoed in their British Vogue interview. “There’s a lot of pressure we put on ourselves,” Mary-Kate told British Vogue. “I feel like we’re really lucky that we have a great partnership and that we can rely on each other for support, because I can imagine it can be so lonely.
“If you want things to be perfect or beautiful, it’s a lot of hard work,” Mary-Kate said. “Nothing comes easy. That’s just the way we were raised; that’s what we believe is necessary to do something different,” she added, citing their upbringing as the catalyst for working hard and putting in the hours necessary to make The Row a project that they take pride in together.