Get Ready To Love The Olsens Even More



olsnsPhoto: REX USA/IBL/Rex.


Stories of child stardom usually go one of two ways: Teenage displays of heartbreaking self-destruction or disappearance for a decade until someone gets a hold of some saucy Instagram pics for the Internet to momentarily freak out over, then forget about again. The Olsen twins have dabbled in the first, but for the most part, their story has been a rare example of two young stars who parlayed their name recognition into real, credible success in fashion. They've been honored by the CFDA, their designs are widely recognized as some of the best in contemporary fashion, and at this point, they don't even need their famous faces to sell clothes. So, it's no surprise that the twins told WWD in a recent interview that they're prioritizing their brand efforts in a big way, putting show business plans on the back burner. Don't worry, you'll still get plenty of that special on-screen Olsen talent from Elizabeth, a rising star in her own right.

For MK & A, though, the many ventures of Dualstar Entertainment Group (parent company of The Row, Stylemint, Elizabeth & James, Olsenboye) and an upcoming fragrance line promise a future that is nothing short of fantastic. They've technically been involved with the company since age six, and officially took the helm at 18 — and all the while, it's been much more than just their names on the stationery. They're incredibly hands-on, and have been since the very beginning. Whether consulting on ten-year-old slang or striving to hit an offbeat note in the tricky world of perfumes, Mary-Kate says that for her and her sister, "work ethic was everything, and that never left us. We like to work hard, and we like to try to do everything 100 percent. In fact, it’s actually almost impossible for us not to. Sometimes you succeed and sometimes not so much, but it’s learning.” Either way, they're getting their knowledge of success and failure firsthand, and insist that they still do "everything" themselves.

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olen2Photo: BEImages/Gregory Pace.
It might sound facetious to say that they've been businesswomen since the age of six, but that's really how they see things, and it seems to be the truth. Currently, they're juggling all the aforementioned creative ventures along with licensing their nostalgia-inducing past. And, while they don't capitalize on it in any particularly loud way, neither twin is likely to shrug off the childhood that introduced them to the world of business and branding. "We were very fortunate to have parents and people around us who wanted us to be part of the creative meetings and the business meetings, and we would just sit and listen and be sponges," says Ashley. "At that time in your life, you really are a sponge." An adorable, hilarious sponge.

For their Nirvana Black and Nirvana White fragrances, developed with Sephora's Kendo partnerships division for Elizabeth & James, the twins based the scent off of the magical, beautiful odor that emanates from the various conditioners, oils, and shampoos they employ in the name of their own daily beauty rituals. “People would always say I smell good," Ashley says, "but it was really a combination of those things rather than a specific fragrance.”

As much as Adam Levine might want to have the atypical celebrity fragrance, it sounds like the Olsens are well on their way to claiming that honor (though we'll have to wait for the launch in January to know for sure). While a perfume press release can be boring and eye roll inducing, the story behind this is less about smells and more about two very rare birds in the entertainment industry — and they do insist that while they may not be on camera, they are still entertaining with the clothes and products they produce. The twins couldn't be more modest, but for our part? We're obsessed. (WWD)