Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen have never ‘purchased anything online’: how?!


Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have opened (or “are opening”) a new brownstone store for The Row in New York. The Row is their high-end collection, and for it’s worth, The Row is widely respected and loved in the American fashion community. A lot of important people believe the Olsens have a great eye for fashion. I’ve looked at The Row’s clothes before (online) and I don’t really see what the big deal is, but that’s not important. What’s important is that the Olsens allow The Row and their mid-range Elizabeth & James collection to be sold online. They allow that even though they themselves will never, ever shop online. Welcome to the modern world!

Mary-Kate Olsen, along with her sister Ashley, has long established her reputation as a slick operator in the fashion industry, thanks to her non-conformist attitude and confident approach, but her latest revelation still comes as something of a surprise.

“I’ve never purchased anything online,” the fashion designer told of her spending habits, as she opens the doors to the brand-new New York flagship for her fashion brand The Row – a conceptual haven of art installations, sweeping architecture and, of course, clothes. Her sister Ashley concurred: “I would agree. I prefer to see, touch, feel, and experience.”

Even if they prefer not to shop at the click of the button, luckily for them their customers do. The twins – who have built The Row in to one of American fashion’s biggest success stories, scooping three CFDA Awards already – do retail their collections online, although they don’t have an online store of their own. They do, however, retail their Elizabeth and James collections online.

[From Vogue]

While I find online shopping to be hit-or-miss depending on the company, at this point, I do most of my clothing shopping online. It’s easier to find my sizes with little drama, I don’t have the time or patience to physically go to most brick-and-mortar stores, and online shopping is just really, really convenient. But I guess when you’re in the upper echelon of shoppers – the Gwyneths, the Olsens, the Beyonces – and you’re spending $5000 on a blouse, you probably do want to try it on and be able to touch the fabric. Incidentally, you can see photos of the Olsens’ new boutique here at Vogue. They really spent a crazy amount of money on the shop. And there are barely any clothes displayed. Because when you’re in that upper echelon, actually looking at clothes is so peasanty.


Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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52 Responses to “Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen have never ‘purchased anything online’: how?!”

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  1. guest says:

    good for them

  2. Alix says:

    Their assistants shop online for them, naturally!

    • Talie says:

      Ding, ding, ding!

    • Esmom says:

      This was my first thought. They don’t need the convenience of shopping online since they have people to do the mundane stuff that tends to occupy most peasants’ time.

    • Kitten says:

      This not uncommon for extremely wealthy people. My boss is worth $80M and his son is worth close to that. His son has never ordered anything online, not from Amazon. Nothing. If they want something, they call their contact at Neiman’s or Saks and have it shipped to the office.

      He’s also never owned or used a debit card before. Recently, I found this out when he asked me what the point of having a debit card was because “you don’t get any points”.

      • Cee says:

        Ha, my father doesn’t understand the point of debit cards either. Whereas if I lost mine I would have a meltdown and imagine someone draining my sad bank account.

      • Kitten says:

        Me too Cee! Plebs like us actually need to see the money taken from our account so we know that we have enough left for bills, groceries etc.

      • paleokifaru says:

        What a fascinating perspective. But surely someone who works for them has purchased something for them online…sprinkler heads or something for the house?

      • KiddVicious says:

        I’m not worth $80mil, more like $80.00, but I get his logic. I don’t have a debit card, I use a credit card, collect the points, pay if off every month. I feel I have more protection using a credit card than a debit card, I don’t know that it’s true, but I’m more comfortable doing that.

        I should clarify that I do have a debit card issued from my bank, no idea where it is, though. I never activated it.

      • JenYfromTheBlok says:

        I don’t actually have credit cards because I don’t believe in accruing debt.

      • KiddVicious says:

        You can have credit cards and not be in debt. I’m not in debt. Cards are paid off in full every month. I’m paranoid about companies/gas stations/etc having access to my bank accounts, I’ve seen too many mistakes companies have made with my friends that has left them with zero money until it gets worked out. You’re more protected that way with credit cards.

    • Green Is Good says:

      Co-sign Alix. First thing I thought.

    • Ladybird83 says:

      Yep. Assistants do it all. We are shoppers, friends, counsellors, babysitters, dog sitters, occasional cleaners, secretary, drivers, cooks, nurse, etc.

      Not a job for everyone. I work as an assistant and personal chef. I love it.

  3. OMG says:

    I don’t shop online. I’ve only got myself a credit card at 27 years as a back up when travelling and i.e. Airbnb or train bookings on my mobile phone, but clothing? Applicances? Shoes? No. I myself prefer to try and feel and see what I am about to buy.
    I am a more sensual person and I think you buy more responsibly when you carefully select the items and be honest about the fit and try them on.
    We already produce so much waste, so much emission, the practice of buying what you like online, mostly horrible cheap stuff, and then throwing it away or sending it on the road again…? No, I think it’s an awful habit.

    Also, I can’t get everything in my country in the shops… but I can get the necessary items, like probably all of us living in industrial countries of Europe and the US. Practice self-denial and not the greed is a valuable lesson.

    • Lena says:

      Actually since ecologically and fair trade clothing is still a bit of a niche product, it’s far easier to find those things online. It’s also easier to quickly research companies and look at labels and certifications and reviews and if they actually are good quality or not when shopping online. I also used to buy a lot more things out of frustration after going trough countless shops even though I knew they werent quite right or not quality, but not so with online shopping.

    • Cleo says:

      Lol I don’t think brick and mortar shopping curbs the impulse buys of the people I see at Zara during their lunch break. Often there’s a huge line of people with armfuls of cheaply made and readily discarded clothes!

      That said, I agree, better to think twice before buying regardless the method or venue.

    • OhDear says:

      I don’t shop for clothes online that often, either (though I shop online a LOT for most other things) – since sizing is so different by store, I want to try it on first to see how it fits/looks. To be fair, it’s a lot easier to do so in a city/near a mall.

      • Dani says:

        This exactly. Something will look beautiful online and not so much on my body. While a good idea in theory I gave up internet clothes shopping awhile ago. Although anything I would need to go to Walmart or Target for I buy from Amazon. I imagine the Olsen twins don’t worry about shopping for those smaller items.

  4. Rebecca/Becky says:

    Because they have minions to do it for them. Like when a friend OD’s, they call a private security firm instead of the emergency services.

    • Lindy79 says:

      Shots Fired!!

      (you’re not wrong though)

      (I also originally typed Shits Fired and debated leaving it there)

      • Rebecca/Becky says:

        Haha! Shits fired sounds better.

        Seriously I didn’t know about the whole MK involvement with Heath Ledger’s death until recently (I vaguely remember she was linked with him at one point). She was investigated but the whole thing was dropped. I side-eye anyone involved with them, incl that dopey little sister of theirs.

    • K says:

      Zing! And true.

    • Green Is Good says:

      Becky, you called it. Their money handles all their “problems”.

  5. Lindsay says:

    Why would they? They can have assistants pick it up bring it to them and return it for them if necessary. Plus, I am sure they are sent free sample size clothes often and grab things from their offices. Plus, they are well connected in the fashion world so it is probably a lot of fun for them to go to other designer’s showrooms, it is a learning and networking opportunity, they can catch up with friends in the industry, have the place to themselves, be waited on hand and foot, not to mention that very conveniently highly talented people are there who would be able to do any tailoring or modifications. Shopping in high end places with one on one assistance and complementary champagne puts online shopping to shame and they get upgraded service from that while talking with like mindsets friends.

    Their assistants might buy other things for them online but I doubt it matters to her as long as it gets done and whatever their little hearts desire is on hand.

  6. Lucy2 says:

    Like Alix said, they probably have their assistants do it for them.
    I can’t imagine not buying things online. It’s quicker and easier to comparison shop and find better deals, and I’m able to get things, like my art supplies or books for work, that simply aren’t available in my town.

  7. Kate says:

    Is this the new ” I don’t even own a television”?

    • Insomniac says:

      Nah. “I don’t have a cellphone” is the new “I don’t have a television.”

      And I’ll never understand why Mary-Kate and Ashley are considered so very fashionable, but then again I really don’t “get” high fashion.

      • Kate says:

        I met a guy last night at a young professionals gathering that said he didn’t have an email address. I gave serious side eye for that one. What business person can function without at least email?! And seriously, why hate on technology? It’s a way of life. It doesn’t have to be your life.

      • Lindy79 says:

        Was his name Anastasia Steele?

        (in all seriousness, good luck to him trying to be a young professional without so much as an email address)

  8. Louise177 says:

    I do minimal clothing online shopping. I mostly do tops because they almost always fit. Pants, dresses, and shoes no because the sizing and fit can be off.

    • Kate says:

      I do all of my shopping online. I order two sizes and send the wrong one back. But I am 4’10” tall so shopping in normal stores is very challenging.

    • Amaria says:

      True. The only things I buy online are bags.
      When it comes to outfits, it’s hard for me to find the right fit even when shopping live, especially with trousers and dresses.
      It doesn’t help that clothes online are usually presented on tall, thin 14-year olds.
      I tried buying online and ended up frustrated with all the hassle of sending back et al.

      I made some live clothes shopping a few days ago – sometimes it was XS that fit, sometimes S, sometimes M even, depending on the cut. I don’t buy clothes randomly so when I actually buy them, I want them to fit me well and look good and I find that impossible with online shopping, even though I know my circumferences etc.
      The same with shoes – very similar models in the same size can feel very different, one can fit the foot like a sock, another can make your feet bleed after a five minute walk. Try to figure it out online.

      I don’t get why people are so surprised.

      • paleokifaru says:

        If it’s just clothes she doesn’t shop for online then I get it. But if it’s anything – home goods, books, toiletries, tickets to travel or for shows or games, etc then yeah I’m shocked.

  9. trishy says:

    They live in a completely different reality than the rest of us. They remind me of Eddie Izzard, talking about the Queen: “You’re a plumber – what on earth is that?”

  10. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    We have terrible shopping in my town, so I do almost all of my clothes shopping online. If I had their money, I might have someone go get an assortment of things for me to try on, but I don’t like shopping for clothes in stores very much. I get so distracted – I need a nice white blouse, oh, would that sweater go with my gray skirt, could I wear that dress to such and such function, those are cute shoes…sometimes I end up with nothing because I feel so overwhelmed. I get the touchy feeling thing, but the experience doesn’t work out for me that well.

    • BengalCat2000 says:

      Same here. Last week I went to three different stores looking for a pair of sandals for an upcoming trip. I bought a pair similar to what I wanted, then decided to just get the exact pair I wanted online and returned the others. I hate the shopping experience itself ( I also get very distracted and spend too much money). Online shopping allows me to read the customer reviews and saves me time and aggravation.

  11. Sarah01 says:

    I have some pieces from their collections. They are really well made, quality fabrics and timeless pieces. I think they have great fashion sense. It’s just they can pull of thier looks.
    I’ve never paid full price for anything, wait till things go on clearance then go for it.

  12. susiecue says:

    They look better than usual. Especially Ashley, she looks really good

  13. Colette says:

    I have never purchased anything online.I just started paying bills online this year.
    As for Olsen twins I’m sure they have people do stuff like that for them.

  14. me says:

    I’ve never bought anything on-line either.

  15. KiddVicious says:

    They may have an eye for design but they always look horrible in whatever they’re wearing. They’re so tiny and all of their clothing has a lot of material, they’re swimming in it. It makes them look like little old ladies.

  16. KellzBellz says:

    I buy vitamins and stuff like headphones online, but I’ve never once even considered buying an artice of clothing or shoes online. That’s what Goodwill is for. Never pay more thatn $15 for anything!

  17. Hollz says:

    I don’t buy stuff online often, but sometimes it’s the only way to get what I want! The nearest Sephora is two hours away (a recent improvement, it use to be five) and Shoppers Drug Mart doesn’t really have much selection for makeup (though again, that’s improved recently) I really hate buying clothing online because sizing is so strange – in my closet I have dresses that range from a medium to a two XL – but again, it’s often the only way to get what I want. I’m a big city girl in a backwater place and I can’t wait to leave. (Sorry for the rant haha, I just want out of New Brunswick so much!)

  18. lunchcoma says:

    They live in a huge city and have personal assistants who can buy things like cat food and toilet paper for them. Given that online shopping is very good for those two things – accessing products not sold near where you live and buying boring staples – it doesn’t surprise me the haven’t had to bother with it.

  19. Lilacflowers says:

    I wear a size 5 1/2 shoe. Stores typically receive only one pair of 5 1/2 per style per shipment. They use that pair as the display model. I buy most of my shoes online. And I buy lots of shoes.

    • paleokifaru says:

      I have had a self imposed break from buying shoes. We moved into our new house and in the unpacking process I was forced to confront what apparently was a shoe buying addiction. 🙂

  20. Kate says:

    I shop online for things I either can’t get in my area, things sold out in stores, or things that are cheaper online. As I live in a rather quiet area, that means about 90% of my non-grocery shopping is done online. I don’t like it though. For entertainment stuff it’s fine, but for clothing, shoes, bags and make-up, it is helpful to see things in real life.

    If I lived in NY and had millions, I wouldn’t be buying anything online. If I was like the Olsens and designers and boutiques would close for me or come to my apartment, I wouldn’t even consider it.

  21. SKF says:

    I hardly ever shop online for clothes. The few times I have it has mostly been a disaster. I need to feel the fabric and I need to try clothes on. I’m a weird fit because I’m kind of hourglass but I have narrow hips. So, boobs, small waist, narrow hips, complete bubble butt (a serious butt) and thighs. So pants in particular are a tough fit. They’ll either be too tight at the butt or gape at the waist, sometimes both. I’m often between sizes on all clothes depending on the cut. It’s annoying!

  22. Kimbers says:

    I’m with them. I like the experience and movement it takes to go shopping. It’s a work out i dont notice I’m doing. Even of i dont buy, i like to be out in the world and end up with good stories to tell my peeps.