Monday, April 28, 2014

The Olsen twins debut The Row Fall 2014 at Neiman Marcus

Ashley Olsen with Cynthia Smoot
Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen made an appearance at Neiman Marcus at NorthPark Center on Monday, April 28 to preview their Fall 2014 collection for The Row.

As I was preparing for this event, I couldn't help but notice that neither of the girls has any sort of social media presence. It's interesting that they are already so famous that they have no interest in using social media to sustain their celebrity.  In fact, it was made quite clear up front that they were in town for the opportunity to work with clients. There would be no interviews.

But I did need to make conversation, so when the opportunity presented itself for me to get a minute or two with Mary-Kate I said to her, "I can't help but notice that a lot of your line is made up of heavy wools and leather. When you are designing, do you think about the different regions and how your garments will translate to the South?". She looked at me like I had two heads and sassily replied, "Our customer travels." Well, okaaaaay then.  For the rest of the time I was there, every time a model would walk by in a garment, she'd say to me with a smirk, "Hey, Cynthia, you see that? It's cotton." "Did you see that shift dress? It's silk? You can wear that here, right?" I might have irritated her with my question, but I can guarantee that she is leaving Dallas knowing my name.  Score one for Oh So!

Mary-Kate Olsen with Cynthia Smoot 
They may be diminutive, but this pair carries a lot of fashion clout. America was first introduced to this dynamic duo in the late 80's through their shared role as Michelle Tanner on the TV comedy Full House. They then went on to twin performances in a series of direct-to-video films for tweens and parlayed that into a $1 billion-a-year business called Dualstar that merchandised dolls, makeup, accessories, and, of course, clothing.

Mary-Kate and Ashley entered a new fashion sphere in 2004 when they retired from their screen sister act, and relocated from California to Manhattan to attend New York University. Interview magazine says, "It was from beneath this layered-to-the-max carapace that the Olsens embarked on a project that would be their gateway into full-fledged fashion design: creating the “perfect” T-shirt. That was the germ of their elevated basics line The Row. From these (relatively) humble origins, growth (has been) slow but steady."

Created in 2006, The Row was named in reverence of London’s Savile Row, and their fashion house emulates the bespoke institution’s standards of exquisite fabrics, impeccable details and perfect fits. The CFDA awarded The Row’s designers and founders the Womenswear Designer of the Year award in 2012, a mere six years after the line’s genesis. One thing I love about the Olsen's line is that every piece, with the exception of the Italy-produced handbags, is made in America. "The Row has never been about trends or flash," according to "Since the beginning, designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have telegraphed that message of simplicity through the clothes: gorgeous, streamlined pieces crafted from the most luxurious of fabrics. Dignified, is the word we would use."

Shop my favorite picks from their current collection at Neiman Marcus below: