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Mary-Kate Olsen says she and Ashley 'were raised to be discreet' in rare interview

The Olsen twins founded their mega-successful luxury brand, The Row, 15 years ago.
/ Source: TODAY

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are opening up about their desire to stay out of the limelight.

The fraternal twins, 35, rose to fame as infants when they both played Michelle Tanner in “Full House” and went on to become popular tween stars. But since the mid-2000s, they have largely shied away from publicity, avoiding social media and keeping their personal lives private.

Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen Present Their collection 'The Row' By Marion Heinrich
Today, the twins keep a low public profile.Gisela Schober / Getty Images

“We were raised to be discreet people,” Mary-Kate said in a rare interview with i-D magazine.

That discretion extends to their fashion line, The Row, which the twins founded together in 2006. As Ashley explains, they want their luxury brand, which features understated, minimalistic pieces, to speak for itself.

Ashley Olsen and Mary Kate Olsen
The Olsen twins attended fashion week together in 2006 — around the time they launched their own label, The Row.Michael Loccisano / FilmMagic

“We really didn’t want to be in front of it,” she said. “We didn’t necessarily even want to let people know it was us, in a way. I mean, it was one of those things where it was really about the product, to the point where we’re like, ‘Who could we get to kind of front this so we don’t have to?’”

Far from simply being the famous faces promoting the brand, the Olsen twins are intimately involved with the business and design decisions behind The Row, which has earned celebrity fans including Gigi Hadid, Hailey Bieber and Jennifer Lawrence.

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Ashley explained how she and her sister bounce ideas off each other and combine their different strengths to make business decisions.

“We like working together and we like having that dialogue,” she said. “I think it helps harden your ideas to be able to hear them out loud, to speak something through. You know, we definitely go by intuition and instinct and it can either confirm that feeling, or if we’re both not feeling right about something, for some reason, we just don’t do it. Our instincts are kind of the same. But I think what’s great is that we have each other to lean on.”


“WandaVision” star Elizabeth Olsen, the twins’ younger sister, has opened up in the past about how much she admires her sisters’ business savvy and their ability to set firm boundaries for themselves.

“Something my sisters always say, which might have come from my father at one point — my dad, I don’t know — is that ‘no’ is a full sentence,” she said in an interview with “Off Camera with Sam Jones.”

"And I really like that, especially as a woman," she added. "You can just say ‘no,’ and I just really like that in all aspects of life.”