The-Fashion-Empire-of-The-Olsen-Twin-1Photo Credit: Getty 

 A happy 29th birthday to Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen! The duo have been cemented in our minds as adorable actresses, but as they are edging into their third decade, the wealthy twins are becoming one of the most powerful figures in the fashion business. 

So how did a set of child stars become icons of retail? Is it all about starting early?

After finding mega success from their acting careers, the teenage twins created a fashion and cosmetic line with the discount retail giant Walmart. The line grew quickly and became one of the most successful fashion lines ever for the store. They embraced a female and teen-focused approach with the tagline “Real Fashion for Real Girls.” This empowerment continued when the duo found out that Walmart used sweatshops to make their products, and they petitioned for better rights for their workers. 

As their fans grew into moody teenagers and party-weary college kids, the Olsens ended their Walmart collab. They then debuted the high-end fashion line The Row and its secondary line, Elizabeth & James in 2007. Catching attention for their minimalist luxe looks, The Row is considered one of the most successful celebrity fashion lines. The line caught flack for designing a backpack costing a cool thirty-nine thousand, but otherwise the line has been a favorite for stylists and industry insiders alike. Not to be outdone, Elizabeth and James has been beloved by fashionistas looking for uptown and feminine wares. 


Photo Credit: The Row/Facebook 

If that wasn’t enough, JCPenney garnered the talent of the twins for OlsenBoye, a contemporary teen line at low-end prices. The teens also caught on to the e-retailer, subscription trend with

“Online commerce is the perfect medium for us to create a new brand that is as much about the clothing as it is about the customer experience,” Ashley Olsen told WWD.

The success of the Olsen fashion brand has taken over from their acting roots. Although we will miss them in the upcoming Full House Netflix series, the fashion knack of the Olsens is something to watch. So while you are watching the old reruns of Full House, remember that Michelle Tanner turned out to be a pretty stylish gal.  

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