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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: Scissor Sisters

June 01, 2011

They fascinate.

Perhaps because we’ve faux-known Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen since their two-in-one television infancy, the explosive early success of their second joint creative career intrigues all the more, its improbability boggling conventional thinking. Cast originally on adorableness alone (talent is a nonfactor at nine months), they parleyed cute into an empire that had them, in their early teens, controlling a billion-dollar entertainment business with a mass market fashion component. Now, approaching their 25th birthday, they are among the hottest forces in fashion.

Theirs is quite a tale. What were the odds that “Full House” would last long enough for the sisters to develop as real actors, and to become role models for a generation of awe-struck peers? That as they grew, genetics and innate flair would coalesce into a wide-eyed, grunge-Goth pixie style both engaging and unsettling? That ongoing public and tabloid interest in that style — and in their private lives — would result in power quotients inverse to the sisters’ diminutive frames? Most significantly, that these famous, fashion girls would ultimately parlay their particular cocktails of distinctive, edgy chic and pre-existing fame into a savvy business that has found serious consumer loyalty across several demographics? None of which could have happened without vision, a furious work ethic and, oh yes, talent.

That talent may be recognized formally Monday night at the CFDA Awards, at which the Olsens are nominated for the Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, in competition with Prabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzarra. Win or lose, they have, after a period of they-seem-for-real shock, won the respect of an industry that remains highly skeptical of the celebrity-turned-designer genre. Read More




 
 
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