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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Told Us All About Their Favorite Things

The stories behind the vintage treasures in their new Los Angeles Elizabeth and James store, straight from Mary-Kate and Ashley.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Told Us All About Their Favorite Things
Tristan Kallas
Chidy Wayne

To say that Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen prefer to stay behind the scenes of their cult-favorite brands The Row and Elizabeth and James would be a grand understatement. The twins (our pre-teen hearts will forever think of them in that way) rarely make public appearances, and when they do, it’s to absolutely zero fanfare. On top of that, their clothes and accessories, at both Elizabeth and James and The Row, have a subtlety to them—there’s no shouting when it comes to their pieces. Then again, that ease is probably what makes them feel so chic and luxurious.

If you know where to look, however, you’ll find the Olsens’ touch everywhere. But it even came as a surprise to us when we found out that one of their most personal projects was right under our nose (and the noses of all their devoted fans) at the new Elizabeth and James store in Los Angeles’ The Grove. As we discovered during a recent visit, amongst the hard-to-resist tailored shirts, slip dresses and delicate gold jewelry that are Elizabeth and James mainstays, is a collection of found objects, vintage clothing, and artisanal products that Mary-Kate and Ashley have sought out themselves. They are “essentially, items Ashley and I live with,” Mary-Kate explained to us.

So while the dream of getting into the designers’ closets for real must, alas, remain just that, hearing the stories behind the pieces they love so much (and that are, for the most part, actually available for us to buy) is a close second. Click through the slideshow to find out the L.A. gallery that is the girls’ go-to, Ashley’s all-time favorite pair of jeans, and why they gravitate towards anything representative of female empowerment.

Ashley: “Mary-Kate and I approached the Elizabeth and James store from a lifestyle perspective.”
Mary-Kate: “We believe in this strategy for all of our brands. Curation of vintage apparel, furniture and objects helps maintain a wholesome view for ourselves and our clients.”
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