Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: Why We’re ‘Discreet’ People

Secret life of the Olsen twins! Mary-Kate Olsen revealed why she and her twin sister, Ashley Olsen, keep their personal lives quiet in a rare interview.

“We were raised to be discreet people,” the fashion designer, 35, told iD magazine in a story published on Monday, June 14.

Mary-Kate’s comment came after Gigi Hadid noted that the twins’ clothing label, The Row, makes her feel safe in the spotlight.

“I guess they are aware of [being photographed], but whether or not they are, it seems like that’s what they’ve designed for,” the supermodel, 26, said. “It’s very liberating when you are one of the most photographed people, including them, to be like this can make me look chic and feel protected.”

Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen.
Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

Ashley, 35, noted that while the women typically turn toward a more guarded design style, they appreciate a maximalist moment every now and then.

“I think that potentially that’s just our aesthetic, our design preference. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t also appreciate something truly ornate or maximal,” she said.

The former child stars, who have worked together since babyhood when they were cast on Full House, believe they make a good professional duo.

“We like working together and we like having that dialogue. I think it helps harden your ideas to be able to hear them out loud, to speak something through,” Ashley added. “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.”

The Olsen twins are notoriously private. When Full House rebooted as Netflix’s Fuller House in February 2016, the actresses chose not to take part in the project. Years later, their onscreen uncle, John Stamos, reflected on their decision.

“You know, we were disappointed, but we understood,” the actor, 57, said during an episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen in April. “I remember Lori [Loughlin] saying to me, ‘They won two or three CFDA Awards. That’s like winning two or three Oscars. If you won three Oscars, would you come back and do this?’ I was like, ‘Eh, maybe not.’”

The twins certainly like to dedicate their brainpower to their design work — and it’s paid off.

“I think we’re very much perfectionists. We’re hard workers and we’ve always been hard workers,” Mary-Kate told iD. “I think the reason we do fashion is to constantly try to fix our imperfections. And you have next season to do that. But it’s also our job to find every imperfection in there to make sure that we’re constantly pushing ourselves and training our eyes and making sure everyone is served. Just evolving and learning.”

Still, the sisters were originally unsure they wanted their well-known names behind the brand.

“We didn’t want to be in front of it, we didn’t necessarily even want to let people know it was us,” Ashley said. “It was really about the product, to the point where we were like: Who could we get to front this so that we don’t have to?”

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