They may have transcended the child star tag to become critically-acclaimed designers, but the Olsen Twins remain best known for their unique personal style. Often described as eccentric, the duos signature look - big sunglasses, bigger handbags, tiny frames loaded with layers and layers of clothes has gone beyond iconic, influencing everyone from John Galliano to Karl Lagerfeld. So how do the best-dressed get dressed? What inspires Mary-Kate and Ashley when they go shopping? ELLEs April cover stars tell us all.
So how do you feel about the style icon tag?
Ashley: Its a nice thing, of course, but we just dont really think about that stuff. It doesnt impact at all on how we dress. Its like picking Sexiest Man Alive everyone has a different view. It doesnt really mean anything.
Mary-Kate: It is flattering, though.
Do you ever stand in front of your wardrobe in the morning and think: I have nothing to wear?
Mary-Kate: Yeah! Of course we do like everyone else.
How do you shop? Do you plan what youre going to buy?
Mary-Kate: Its impulsive for us. We dont order anything from designers straight after the shows, for example.
Ashley: We can just go out and shop in New York we dont get bothered in the street much. The only difficult thing is finding the time.
Mary-Kate: The only planning we do is if were going vintage shopping and looking for something specific.
Is that what you enjoy the most?
Mary-Kate: You just never know what youre going to buy. Thats why its exciting.
Ashley: Youre looking at things that may be one of a kind, or something that you loved 15 or 20 years ago when you saw it on the catwalk first.
Mary-Kate: Its a different way of shopping. Youre not thinking about whether its on sale or who else has it.
Do you know what youre looking for when you go vintage shopping?
Ashley: We both have a pretty good memory for catwalk moments and pieces.
Mary-Kate: Were both attracted to certain eras for Ashley, its Fortuny and early Chanel. I love Gaultier and Galliano.
Do you shop for vintage everywhere?
Ashley: We try to see whats happening in LA, New York and also Paris.
Do you have things in mind that youd like to collect?
Mary-Kate: Its more about whats out there. I might be attracted to something in a show but not buy it, then see it years later by which time it feels right.
Ashley: Having a good memory for fashion, sometimes you find that everything new looks the same. You can reference everything it looks like a big mix of this show and this show. Nothing seems that original. Thats why we love vintage so much.
You dont ever work with a stylist, do you?
Ashley: When we were kids, we each had to be in 20 looks a week for our TV show so someone obviously found the clothes for us. Now we dress ourselves.
Its really surprising that you dont hate fashion now, after all that!
Mary-Kate: On the contrary, we learned so much about clothes because we were so petite that everything had to be remade to fit us.
Ashley: Thats really how The Row started. I never liked one full look from anywhere.
Is The Row still very much about the things that you want to wear?
Ashley: We dont make items like a personal shopping list! We just want to create beautiful things.