Good news if you’ve ever harbored the fantasy—only to immediately realize it’s practically impossible—of having style as impeccable as Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: Now, thanks to an unexpected partnership, you can. For the second month in a row, the twins have broken with their famous tendency to shy away from interviews to talk shop—this time, to announce that Kohl’s will exclusively carry their label Elizabeth and James, which the pair named after their siblings, as soon as later this year.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that Olsen-endorsed apparel and accessories have been made available to the public. Over the past six years, Mary-Kate and Ashley have received no fewer than four CFDA awards for their high-fashion label the Row, which quickly became an industry favorite and staple of New York Fashion Week. As high-profile as those designs have been, however, they’re not exactly easy to come by. In 2011, for example, the Row’s most coveted item, an alligator handbag, promptly sold out—even though it retailed for $39,000 (or $55,000, if you’re counting the pill-covered version made in collaboration with Damien Hirst).
In other words, even tabloids couldn’t help but notice that it’d be cheaper to buy a Birkin—not that that stopped the label from being any less popular. And, unfortunately for Olsens fans, price tags didn’t prove prohibitive for Elizabeth and James either; while less expensive, the line still could only be found at stores like Net-a-Porter, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks.
And yet, at the end of last year, Elizabeth and James announced that it would be shutting down its stores and in-house operations. The news of its new licensing agreement with Kohl’s, then, may not seem like something to celebrate, but there’s been no confirmation that it’s a sign of financial hardship; in fact, it appears you can now actually afford to dress the way the Olsens see fit.
“We have always seen Elizabeth and James speaking to a much larger audience and this new business model with Kohl’s will allow us to achieve that,” Ashley told WWD, adding that she and her sister are “excited” to work with Kohl’s in “building out additional lifestyle categories”—expanding their offerings, which also include beauty products, and creating “a new shopping experience” for their customers. (A new experience is most definitely in store for those on the design team at Kohl’s too: that of having the Olsens oversee their work.)
While she refrained from citing specific prices, Mary-Kate assured WWD that her and her sister’s “vision” for Elizabeth and James is to “offer women access to premium fashion at an affordable price without sacrificing quality and fit.” So while the Journal Sentinel, which, like Kohl’s, is based in Milwaukee, might be right in describing the store’s clientele as “suburban moms,” if Narciso Rodriguez and plenty of other designers who have Kohl’s diffusion lines are any indication, they will be quite fashionable ones at that.