mary-kate and ashley olsen
Photo: Getty

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen don’t give a lot of interviews, but last week they invited a select group of journalists to speak with them and tour their newest store for one of their fashion labels, The Row, which is famous for super-luxe items like $2,000 cashmere sweaters and$39,000 alligator backpacks. Among those lucky enough to score an interview with the reclusive twins was Matthew Schneier of the New York Times who uncovered some fascinating new facts about MK and A.

1. Many of their clients for The Row have no idea the Olsens were child stars before becoming designers. How can that be, you ask? Well, according to Schneier, although the Olsens themselves are only 29, their clients are often “decades older than [them],” and thus more likely to have children or grandchildren more familiar with the antics of Michelle Tanner and co. than they are themselves.

2. The Olsens do not shop online. Ever. Mary-Kate did buy something in an online auction once, but the article didn’t say what it was. It was probably some sort of high-end estate sale deal, though — art or jewelry or antiques. After all, it’s hard to imagine Mary-Kate setting up a PayPal account to bid on used books on Ebay or homemade handicrafts on Etsy. That said, if she was secretly shopping for mason jar centerpieces on Etsy, it would be kind of the best thing ever.

3. The Olsens find dealing with real people “unpleasant.” For that reason, they understand the appeal of online shopping, even though they choose not to engage in it themselves.

“People like shopping online because they’ve made it so easy,” Mary-Kate told Schneier.

“You don’t have to deal with people,” Ashley said, and laughed.

“That can be unpleasant,” Mary-Kate said. “If you are going to deal with people, you have to make it a pleasant experience.”

To this end, the Olsens made an effort to set up their new store to look and feel more like a home than a traditional store, albeit the home of someone very, very, very rich where everything — from the curtains to the couches — is available for sale.

4. The Olsens believe strongly in the importance of dressing gowns (robes). You might be comfortable changing directly from your own clothes into something you picked off the rack in the store, but the Olsens are not here for that. That’s why the changing rooms at The Row’s Upper East Side store location are equipped with custom cotton dressing gowns for clients to slip into between outfits.

5. The Olsens understand how draining it can be shopping for $12,500 fur ponchos, so they offer lunch to clients between outfit changes. And no, “lunch” is not a euphemism for cigarettes and coffee. At least, I don’t think it is. It doesn’t sound like the store has a license to operate a commercial kitchen, so who knows what lunch at The Row actually entails?

6. It’s possible that the whole store concept is just a way for the Olsens to write off their personal furniture and art shopping as a business expense. According to Schneier, “some of the art and furniture will rotate between their homes and the store.”

Can you say “tax break”?

7. The Olsens wanted their new store to feel like a home. Their home. Not your home. Definitely not your home. The Olsens are rich. Very, very rich. And so are their clients. So their store is decorated accordingly. Where you might have a poster hanging over your IKEA couch, they have paintings that would probably otherwise be in a museum hanging over “significant furniture” (whatever that means).

“Visiting can feel like paying a call on a tax bracket significantly higher than one’s own,” wrote Schneier. “And when Mary-Kate asked a reporter whether it felt like a home to him, he admitted that it did, although, he added regretfully, not his.

“‘I didn’t say your home,’ she replied, a touch tartly.”

Ugh! People! Amiright, Mary-Kate? It’s enough to make you just want to shop online.

From: Cosmopolitan US