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Exclusive: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row is launching menswear. It's the result of a two-year project in which they and their small team traveled the globe, inspected seams, counted stitches and pitted factories against one another. Taking a page from industrial manufacturing, they employed performance trials that they call “wear-testing”: trying the clothes themselves or asking friends and associates to borrow samples and report back. This is not new—this is how The Row works: slowly. Read the full story online now or through the link in bio. On newsstands 9/15. (🖊: @christinabinkley, 📸: @ethanjamesgreen, set design by @frau.juliawagner) #WSJMagazine
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen tend to give MAYBE one interview a year. Those interviews are usually pretty basic and bare-bones – they rarely break any news or say anything scandalous. And yet, their interviews are sort of fascinating because they really have completely leaned into their creepy twin thing, finishing each other’s thoughts and sentences, talking about how they share a brain, and generally being attached at the hip personally and professionally. It’s absolutely crazy to me that one of them (MK) managed to get married and has maintained her marriage for several years now. How is that possible? Anyway, MK and Ashley have a new interview in WSJ. Magazine. The point of the interview is that The Row is now doing menswear. But check out these quotes:
They do everything together: “It’s been 32 years of learning how to communicate… it’s a marriage and a partnership. We have had ups and downs. We do everything together,” Ashley told WSJ. “We came out of the womb doing that,” Mary-Kate added.
On how they market The Row: “We’re not product pushers,” Ashley says. “I don’t know if it’s because of the way we grew up — we just don’t like talking about ourselves or talking about what we’re doing … It’s not really our approach.”
The menswear collection: “We spent a year really figuring out the fit of the suit,” Ashley explained. Mary-Kate added, “Single-breasted, double-breasted, tuxedo.”
They never intended The Row to be a brand? “We never started the company with the intention of it being a fashion brand,” Ashley admitted. “It’s not like one day we wake up and say, we’re going to grow this business, and we’re going to have a menswear collection,” Mary-Kate added. “That’s not the way we look at it.”
A few thoughts. One, “We never started the company with the intention of it being a fashion brand” - I don’t understand this at all? They started The Row and intentionally tried to make a very high-end line which would appeal to rich women. They succeeded. Why deny that intention now? Two, “we’re not product pushers” – I get that. Their whole brand is “low-key, word-of-mouth, minimal advertising.” Their clientele wears The Row so they too can look like rich, discreet hobos. Discretion is their brand more than any article of clothing. Three, “it’s a marriage and a partnership. We have had ups and downs. We do everything together.” Maybe do something with other people too??? I get that they have a psychic, creative, emotional and financial partnership. But hang out with other people too, damn it.
Photos courtesy of WENN, WSJ. Instagram.