VMAN14

ARTICLE MARK JACOBS

PHOTOGRAPHY SEBASTIAN FAENA

STYLIST SOFIA ACHAVAL

CREDITS ARTICLE CONTENTS

NYC C. 1985

ANDY'S GUYS

THE OTHER FACE OF ASHLEY OLSEN

EXTRA CREDITS

Hair Esther Langham  Makeup Gucci Westman for Revlon  Photo assistants James Loveday and Tom Winchester  Stylist assistants Melaney Oldenhof and Daniel Esteban Rivera  Hair assistant Charles McNair  Production Sarah Frick Smith  Production assistants  Toby Marie Bannister and Sofia Theofilaktidis  Digital technician Aurelie Graillot  Postproduction Art + Commerce Imaging

MORE TO LOVE

LIGHT TEST BACKSTAGE: DKNY PRE FALL PART FIVE ON TARGET

THE OTHER FACE OF ASHLEY OLSEN

PHOTOGRAPHY SEBASTIAN FAENA
FASHION SOFIA ACHAVAL
TEXT Mark Jacobs

“I’ve been transitioning from acting as a kid to doing something that I’m choosing for myself—to be a part of the fashion industry. That’s what I want for my future.”
–Ashley Olsen

Who hasn’t been captivated by watching thoroughbred media babies Ashley Olsen and her sister Mary-Kate figure out who they wanted to be when they grew up? The twins, who started their careers on the sitcom Full House when they were 9 months old, have spent their entire lives in the public eye, building a cottage industry of preteen apparel, direct-to-video movies, Mattel dolls, and Sweet 16–themed video games. Now, while Mary-Kate focuses on her acting, Ashley, the minimalist of the two in both style and public persona, has officially adopted fashion as her primary industry. 

This involves not only lending her likeness to products but also overseeing the often unsexy day-to-day details of actually producing apparel. In addition to her role as co-CEO of Dualstar Entertainment Group, which brokers countless licensing details and manages the twins’ contemporary women’s sportswear brand, Elizabeth and James, Ashley also commands The Row, a sophisticated line of women’s luxury basics that is introducing its first men’s collection this fall. Tucked discreetly away in New York City’s Café Cluny, the stunning 22-year-old multimillionaire discussed building a brand, the unique nature of her celebrity, and a life of her own making.

Who is the Row man? 
ASHLEY OLSEN I see him as very well-rounded, with a European-meets-American sort of style. It’s extremely masculine, and it’s for that 30-, 40-, 50-year-old who has a refined sense of self, but needs those basics and doesn’t want to wear Tom Ford. He’s definitely older. I had no idea who the Row woman would be when I did ten knits, and it turned out to be this ageless brand. So I’m hoping for the same thing, if I come at it the right way.

When does a man’s style attract you?
AO 
When it’s not about fashion. When you have no idea what brand it is. When it’s worn and feels good. To touch a man who has a soft sweater on, a soft pant, a great jacket, or something that, as a woman, I want to take off him and put on and feel sexy in.

A celebrity doing a line that’s not a celebrity line is hard for some people to get their heads around.
AO 
The way I look at it, I had a career as a child. I had a career in an industry in which the media kind of...they’re obsessed with the young girl thing, whatever. But when I turned 18, I moved to New York, and I haven’t really done anything since to be a celebrity. I’ve been transitioning from acting as a kid to doing something that I’m choosing for myself—to be a part of the fashion industry. That’s what I want for my future. It has nothing to do with my past, nothing to do with anyone else’s agenda. And I followed my heart the whole way. But the outside perception is very different because you do have celebrity brands, people like Jessica Simpson and Kimora Lee Simmons, and those are celebrity brands because they have their names on them. 

I understand you have a famous twin sister.
AO 
Yes. It’s so weird, right? The Row is really something that I’m doing while my sister still wants to focus on acting. She’s my partner in The Row, but she trusts me with the everyday. I mean, I see her like ten times a day. 

Do you feel like you’re finally past having to spend so much energy differentiating yourself from your sister?  
AO 
When I was 14, 15, 16, 17, it was harder because the two of us were still very similar. We had to work through what’s special about us, and then the media had to work through it. It’s just so silly. It’s ridiculous! But I’ve always been very comfortable with it, so it was just a matter of everyone else catching up, I guess. I’ve never been one to engage the media to say that I’m different. I actually did the opposite and totally went internal. I was like, “See y’all!” I want to be behind the scenes, and I don’t want people to know anything about my personal life. I have a job, I take it very seriously, and I work really hard. 

And hopefully you’re left alone and treated respectfully enough, which is sometimes not the case.
AO 
Right. I don’t blog. I don’t read any of that. I have no idea what’s going on in that world because it’s just so destructive, and it’s been so destructive to so many industries. 

You just returned from a six-day yoga retreat. Can you talk a little bit about your fire and air?
AO 
It has to do with an Ayurvedic practice called Panchakarma. It’s about your different energies and what you’re supposed to do to soothe or calm yourself, to pick yourself up in certain ways and keep yourself grounded. Sometimes you start spinning in that tornado that’s around you and it’s so easy to get lost and frazzled. For me, it was great to know that you need to be in control. You need to be in the eye of the storm, leading it. 

Are you a little bit of a hippie?
AO 
I’m definitely a hippie girl.

Were you excited when they announced the Phish reunion concerts?
AO 
Oh. My. God. Okay, I’m so excited they’re going to be at Bonnaroo. I
can’t wait. 

Do you wear The Row to Bonnaroo?
AO 
What did I wear last year? Jean shorts, Wellies, and yeah, a T-shirt. 

What projects do you have coming up?
AO 
I’m really just focusing on the brands and whatever expansions may be within the brands. 

Are you interested in acquiring other brands?
AO 
Absolutely. I don’t want to talk about them because there are a couple that could be potential opportunities. We’re always thinking of new things, new divisions that are missing in the marketplace. 

Being in charge of a holding company interests you?
AO Brand-building is what I love more than anything. It’s everything I’ve learned up until this point, everything I’ve done. First it was a brand about myself and my sister—being a brand. I have a different understanding of what works for a brand and what doesn’t.
 

EXTRA CREDITS

Hair Esther Langham  Makeup Gucci Westman for Revlon  Photo assistants James Loveday and Tom Winchester  Stylist assistants Melaney Oldenhof and Daniel Esteban Rivera  Hair assistant Charles McNair  Production Sarah Frick Smith  Production assistants  Toby Marie Bannister and Sofia Theofilaktidis  Digital technician Aurelie Graillot  Postproduction Art + Commerce Imaging

MORE TO LOVE

LIGHT TEST BACKSTAGE: DKNY PRE FALL PART FIVE ON TARGET
Close page

YOU'VE GOT V-MAIL

SIGN UP TO RECEIVE UPDATES, ALERTS AND MORE FROM V MAGAZINE!

FacebookFACEBOOK
TwitterTWITTER
TumblrTUMBLR
PinterestPINTEREST
EmailEMAIL

V MAGAZINE|V MAN|THE OTHER FACE OF ASHLEY OLSEN | VMAN14 PHOTOGRAPHY SEBASTIAN FAENA | FASHION SOFIA ACHAVAL

FASHION INFO |SHARE | |CLOSE X

FacebookFACEBOOK
TwitterTWITTER
TumblrTUMBLR
PinterestPINTEREST
EmailEMAIL