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How Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen Made Granny Chic Happen - The Iconic Issue

How Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen Made Granny Chic Happen

Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen’s first steps into Fashion

Let’s begin at the beginnings. Because long before the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen fashion empire existed, they started out in the tv series Full House. From then on they starred in more series and movies. Their first step into e-commerce was already at a young age, collaborating with large retailer Wal-mart on a clothing line for girls ages four to fourteen. All long before they became the style icons they are now.

Business Lessons

Mary-Kate and Ashley have created successful fashion house The Row out of their own style. Before we dive into the personal vision that lies at the core of The Row, let’s look at the way they have approached their business in a strategical and ethical way.

1. Have a mission

The Row supports high-end manufacturing in the United States. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made this decision deliberately even though it would have been easy and obvious to produce in a country with low production costs.

2. Remain Classy

In the first three years, they didn’t give an interview about The Row.

3. Have a vision

Their personal style clearly shines through all their outfits and collections of The Row. Classy, authentic and renewing, also known as granny chic. 

4. Face your fears

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are known for avoiding the spotlight as much as they can. They have mentioned multiple times that they enjoy the creative process of fashion but don’t like being the center of attention. But to make their dreams come true they have to do this part of the job as well.

The Olsen sisters let the quality of their work speak for itself and keep their personal life as private as possible.


The Row

The Row is established by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in 2006, named after Savile Row. A street in London’s neighborhood Mayfair, known for it’s tailoring and also internationally named ‘the golden mile of tailoring’. The Row is born out of a love for quality, detail, and craftsmanship.


Focusing on exceptional textures and precise tailoring, the house combines a timeless perspective with subtle attitudes which forms an irreverent classic signature. The Row’s collections also explore the strength of minimalistic shapes that speak to discretion and are based on understated basics of uncompromising quality. –


Driven by style and vision

The Row is born out of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s personal style and love for refined, wearable, minimal luxury. They value quality above all, something that radiates through all images of their collection. If Mary-Kate and Ashley are involved in the styling or creation of fashion, you know it is going to be infused with their vision.

The leading elements in their collections, and what they value in fashion items, are fabric and shape. They understand form really well, which is the connection between fashion and architecture. The same reason that some fashion designers studied architecture: it is also a form of design. 


Stop trying to make granny chic happen

If Kate Moss is heroin chic, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s personal style can be named granny chic. They were far beyond their time when they started to layer oversized clothes with even more oversized designer bags and huge sunglasses.


 Signature Looks

The driving factor behind the success of The Row is all built upon their personal style. By looking at Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s best looks, it is clear they love minimal, modern looks with strong silhouettes and rich fabrics.

You will see them play with fabrics and textures instead of bold prints and colors. And they are definitely not impressed by fast coming and going trends. Which is also their strong point, because the ones who don't follow trends, are often the ones who make them.