You know what young people love? A good coffee table book. Yes you heard me correctly. Though older generations are known for using them simply as decor, it’s nearly impossible to make a young person not flip though a coffee table book. In fact, the real problem is the way they make notes in the margins. Most young people don’t even flip through the books casually anymore, instead preferring to take them home and read them intensely, forgetting about sleep and food and work, becoming so wrapped up as they do in coffee table books. They return the book tattered, dog-eared and highlighted. Given this generational obsession with what was formerly seen as a mere place to rest one’s mug, you can see why the Olsen twins have decided to put all their energy into a coffee table book for young people.
Mary-Kate and Ashley have signed with Penguin Young Readers to write a new book, with the working title Influence, introducing them to the towering figures that have influenced the “Business Women, Designers and Global Style Icons.” Don’t look for Margaret Thatcher or Golda Meir here, though — these are more the folks you’d find on PatrickMcMullan:
Influence introduces readers to respected artists, seasoned designers and others who have influenced Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen over the past decade. The book will feature influential figures including; Christian Louboutin, Lauren Hutton, Bob Colacello, Terry Richardson, Jack Pierson and Robert Lee Morris. A coffee table book, Influence includes exclusive photographs of Ashley and Mary-Kate from world renowned photographer Rankin, and a wide variety of other never-before-seen materials and interviews from Mary-Kate and Ashley’s personal collections.
These, according to Ashley, are “the most interesting, challenging, creative people we know — the ones who helped pave the way for us and our generation.” Adds Mary-Kate: “Ashley and I interviewed the people who have inspired us, with the hope that they will inspire and teach others.”
[From the Huffington Post]
While the Olsens do have some higher-end merchandise, most of their “young person” stuff is sold at Walmart. I’m not exactly sure those are the types of teenagers who are going to be interested in hearing about Christian Louboutin and Lauren Hutton. I’m also thinking they might not be the traditional coffee table book buying type. Not that a whole lot of people their age are, mind you. Sure once in a while they may grab a coffee table book from the living room, but it’s just to use as a flat surface to eat their dinner on. Yeah I do it every night, what’s the big deal? Certainly I might feel a tad more sophisticated if I ate my Cup ‘O Noodles on an Olsen Twin couture coffee table book, but I have a feeling that I’m the only one. Though the twins are known for their business savvy, I can’t help but think this might not be their biggest seller.
Here’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the 2007/8 Chanel Cruise Show Presented By Karl Lagerfeld in Santa Monica on May 18th. Images thanks to Splash.