Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen open up about empowering fashion, social media and married life

Charlie Teather
Ashley, Mary-Kate and Sara Blomqvist wear clothes by Elizabeth and James SS17 and shoes by The Row: Michael Schwartz for The Edit,

A sibling design duo who spend the majority of their lives away from the public gaze, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have opened up in a rare interview to speak about their professional and private lives.

Confirming the much-speculated news that she is now married to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy's half-brother Olivier, Mary-Kate gave net-a-porter's digital magazine The Edit an insight into balancing her previously-hidden private life with the wildly successful fashion business she runs alongside twin Ashley.

"I think we’re lucky [working hard] comes quite naturally for us. We don’t need so much time to sit and think and ponder. But then I have a husband, two step-kids and a life; I have to go home and cook dinner. I run on the weekend."

"You find the thing that helps you relax and if you don’t have it, you have to look for it. Or you get burned out and then you’re not productive."

Ashley and Mary-Kate wear clothes by Elizabeth and James SS17 and shoes by The Row (Michael Schwartz for The Edit,

One thing you'll never find the Olsen twins doing to relax is poring over an Instagram feed or chuckling at at Tweet - the pair are entirely absent from all forms of social media and show no urge to sign up any time soon.

"Because we don’t dive into that whole world [of social media] and we don’t have Facebook, we’ve never been connected to our fans in that way," admits Ashley.

"We’ve stayed quite sheltered in that sense."

Since shooting to fame at the tender age of 9 months old on American sitcom Full House, the 30-year-olds have successfully combined their fade from public view with an ever-growing fashion business.

Having launched luxury fashion house The Row - with the name inspired by London's Savile Row - back in 2006, the twins went on to launch a more affordable line named after their siblings, Elizabeth and James, in 2007.

"We like to say that Elizabeth and James is the new luxury," said Mary-Kate. "It’s the idea that you can still have fashion, great fabrics and great fits at a lower price point."

Using their two brands as a method of connecting with a broad range of female customer, they are acutely aware of the empowerment fashion can provide.

"We just want to help women feel however they want to feel," Mary-Kate reveals.

"Every once in a while, we want to change our perfume or our haircut; we want to wear heels or flats. We just like to switch it up. That’s the beauty of clothes."

Julia Banas wears dress by Gucci​ on the cover (Stefano Galuzzi for The Edit,

To see The Edit’s full interview with Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen go to The Edit or download the free Edit app at the App Store and Google Play