The Row

Olsen twin sisters stand behind fashion label "The Row". Ashley and Mary-Kate became known at barely 9 months old, when they started appearing in TV sitcom "Full House". For 8 years they both shared the single role of Michelle Tanner. The hit TV show brought them not only fame but also incredible financial benefits. Their business empire, consisting of, among others, companies making videos, make up or dolls, is valued at an estimated $1.5 billion. Actresses were exposed to high-fashion since childhood, they wore Chanel clothes as little girls (adult Chanel clothes were resized to fit them) and used to change outfits as often as 12 times a day on the movie set. At 12 years old, their own line of clothes for preteens debuted at Wal-Mart. The name of the brand was taken from the historic British "Savile Row" and is supposed to evoke quality tailoring associated with famous street in Mayfair. At the same time the name "Olsens" is clearly detached from the label.

The history of "The Row" goes back to 2006, when famous sisters decided to design a perfect T-shirt. Their first collection consisted of only seven pieces. "We like the mentality of the way men dress. It's that thing about having a few very special investment pieces that you can wear all the time and build upon", explained Ashley Olsen. Sisters started to create high-quality pieces that wouldn't go out of fashion. "The Olsens (...) have always had an uncanny ability for translating runway fashion for their avid young following (...). They became the emblem of "hobo-chic"(Anne Slowey). Their beautiful but practical and simple clothes were selling really well, eventually outperforming some of the better-known labels. Last year, Ashley and Mary-Kate received a very prestigious CFDA award for Womenswear Designer of the Year, beating out fellow- well established in the industry-nominees, like Marc Jacobs or Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler (a ballot of 400 CFDA members, including retailers, journalists and stylists decide on winners). CFDA award is one of the most coveted prizes in the fashion world.

Many of The Row's collections are inspired by what was lacking in their founder's wardrobes. Their sartorial preference is for perfectly fitted, basic pieces made of fine fabric that can break up an outfit. "Their unfussy, elegant collections are so relentlessly not about trend or fashion or red-carpet moments that they've already achieved near-cult status" (Julia Reed). Concentrating on simple, timeless and trendless pieces worked well for the brand. As Ashley Olsen explained: "When the recession hit, The Row was still growing, people were still buying it. They knew they'd have something forever. And I think people were attracted to more modest things that weren't so splashy".

The clothes are 100% made in America. Designers collaborated with TOMS shoes (of Blake Mycoskie) at one point, artist Damien Hirst on their famous crocodile backpack and also created a second, less expensive but enormously successful contemporary line "Elizabeth and James" that is produced under a license with L'Koral Industries and is designed with younger, edgier customers in mind.

Bliźniaczki Olsen, które zaczęły swoją "karierę" w przemyśle filmowym jako 9 miesięczne niemowlaki, są od pewnego czasu kojarzone również ze światem mody, a konkretnie z założoną przez nich marką "The Row". Rola Michelle Tanner w serialu "Pełna Chata" przyniosła im nie tylko sławę, ale również ogromne dochody. Ich biznesowe imperium, w skład którego wchodzą firmy produkujące m.in lalki, gry komputerowe, czy kosmetyki, wyceniane jest obecnie na półtora miliarda dolarów. Aktorki mialy kontakt ze światem mody od dzieciństwa (ubrania Chanel dla dorosłych były specjalnie dla nich przerabiane), zmieniały ubrania na planie filmowym nawet 12 razy dziennie. W wieku 12 lat stworzyły swoją własną kolekcję dla młodzieży, która dostępna była w Wal-Mart. Nazwa "The Row" nawiązuje do słynnego, brytyjskiego "Savile Row" i przywodzi na myśl fenomenalną jakość garniturów, tworzonych przez krawców z Mayfair.

Marka powstała w 2006 roku, a wszystko zaczęło się od prób stworzenia idealnego T-shirtu. Pierwsza kolekcja składała się zaledwie z siedmiu ubrań. "We like the mentality of the way men dress. It's that thing about having a few very special investment pieces that you can wear all the time and build upon", powiedziała Ashley Olsen. Bliźniaczki zaczęły więc tworzyć wysokiej jakości ubrania, które nie wyjdą szybko z mody. "The Olsens (...) have always had an uncanny ability for translating runway fashion for their avid young following (...). They became the emblem of "hobo-chic". (Anne Slowey). Proste ubrania The Row powoli zaczęły się sprzedawać coraz lepiej, przewyższając nawet sprzedaż ubrań innych marek, istniejących na rynku od wielu lat. W ubiegłym roku bliźniaczki otrzymały prestiżową nagrodę CFDA- Oscara w świecie mody, pokonujac takich weteranów, jak Marc Jacobs, czy projektanci Proenzy Schouler, Jack McCollough i Lazaro Hernandez. Nagroda CFDA przyznawana jest przez 400 członków organizacji- dziennikarzy, stylistów, właścicieli butików.

Ubrania The Row to świetnie dopasowane i wysokie gatunkowo stroje. "Their unfussy, elegant collections are so relentlessly not about trend or fashion or red-carpet moments that they've already achieved near-cult status" (Julia Reed). Tworzenie prostych i ponadczasowych ubrań okazało się świetną strategią w momencie, kiedy pogorszyła się sytuacja gospodarcza na świecie. "When the recession hit, The Row was still growing, people were still buying it. They knew they'd have something forever. And I think people were attracted to more modest things that weren't so splashy", stwierdziła Ashley. Wszystkie ubrania są szyte w Ameryce.

All pictures are form S/S 2013 collection

Projektantki zdecydowały się na współpracę z TOMS (o firmie Blake'a Mycoskie wspominałam w artykule pt: "Social Responsibility"), artystą Damienem Hirst (tworząc limitową edycję swojego słynnego plecaka ze skóry krokodyla), powstała również tańsza linia ubrań "Elizabeth and James".

Ewa Bytomska

 

 

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