Thursday, April 14, 2011

Designer Series: The Row, Elizabeth & James, and Olsenboye by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen wearing The Row to the 2011 CCFDA Nominations 

"Balancing Act" article in the April 2011 issue of Vogue

     New York Minute was the last Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie I remember watching before they became a big hit in the fashion scene. The first time I even started noticing their  much successful fashion venture was when I began seeing their Elizabeth and James tailored blazers being worn by a lot of famous names in Hollywood. The moment that I found out that they were the minds behind the designs of the label, which was named after their two other siblings, Elizabeth and James Olsen, I knew they were up to something. 

     Just like any skeptic of fashion lines made/designed/endorsed by celebrities (you could never really tell or be too sure about this), I had my doubts about their new endeavor in fashion. I have a certain mistrust toward celebrity lines, because it happens more often than not that their names were just slapped on the clothes to use their reputation and name to sell them. Remember the Miley Cyrus by Max Azria line for Wal-Mart? -- DISASTER. I mean, I guess business is business, but I'm not a sell out. After all, Mary-Kate and Ashely also had an entire clothing, beauty, and even furniture line at Wal-Mart when they were only twelve, so of course I had a good reason to have trust issues towards that enterprise. 


Spring 2011 Collection


   It wasn't until Ashley founded The Row in 2006 that the twins began to turn heads and gain respect from the rest of the fashion industry. The Row was created in her desire to make a luxurious white t-shirt to suit many different types of women. She meticulously tested the shirt on several women, from ages 20 to 60, to get the cut, fit, and attitude just right. I thought this was a good start seeing as jeans and a t-shirt is the classic American uniform. The collection, even in its simplicity, is extremely wearable and often in beautiful blush tones. The pieces in it are also very versatile and can be dismantled as separates, which is pretty much, everything a woman wants and needs in her closet. The Row, along with their other two active collections, Elizabeth and James and Olsenboye for JCPenny, is all part of the Olsen twins' Dualstar conglomerate. 


Spring 2011 Collection


     Dualstar, which is completely run and operated by people that they grew up with in the television and movie business, owns their back catalog of movies and TV shows and completely operates all of their fashion lines -- The Row at the luxury endElizabeth and James as the bigger contemporary slice, and Olsenboyeaccessibly priced for teens, which reaches the mass market in the partnership with JCPenny, as described in their April 2011 interview, "Balancing Act" in Vogue. It later made sense to me that fashion naturally became their next big enterprise, because as television child stars, all they did when they were growing up was play around in clothes for multitude of roles and wardrobe changes. Despite the fact that they have no formal design education, another reason why so many people are so skeptic about their designs, hands on experience with clothes was the best schooling they could've ever had. Because at the end of the day, it had allowed them to become perfectly tuned to the way clothes fit. This focus on the cut and fit of clothing is one of the many reasons why these three collections are very desirable and sought after by many consumers. Besides, you can't learn everything from a textbook, you have to get your hands dirty to really learn the hard lessons of the trade. 


Spring/Summer 2011 Collection for JCPenny



     So come explore all of the past and even present Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen enterprise and come take a look at some of the pieces from their three current fashion lines for the Spring 2011 season. As for the future, we'll just have to wait until June 6, 2011 to see if they win the CFDA Award (Council of Fashion Designers of America) for their nomination in Swarovski's Award for Womenswear. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real Fashion for Girls clothing and beauty line in Wal-Mart



Mary-Kate and Ashley when they got their Hollywood Walk of Fame Star in 2004 



Love, KB

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