September 3 2014

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What Would The ’00s Have Been Without The Olsens?


Few people were photographed more in the aughts than Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, which means we’ve enjoyed a front-row seat as they’ve morphed from a pair of matchy-matchy multi-millionaire tweens to two of the decade’s most influential trendsetters (see our slideshow for proof). Most famously, the sisters signaled an end to the opulence and head-to-toe designer looks of the early ’00s with their trademark dumpster chic. But anyone can have a “moment”; more remarkable was the fact that their impact on fashion was just beginning. Balenciaga saw its profile rise when Ashley was papped again and again carrying its motorcycle bag, and brands like Giambattista Valli, Proenza Schouler, and Givenchy all benefited from the duo’s blessing. In 2007, the Olsens put their star power to work for themselves, launching The Row—a critically acclaimed line that defeated pre-conceived notions of celebrity fashion. In the process, they kick-started a leather leggings trend that still hasn’t gone away. This year, they became members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which signals a couple of things: They take this very seriously, and there’s a good chance we’ll be looking at pictures of Mary-Kate and Ashley well into the next decade.

Click for a slideshow, and let us know below which Olsens looks you loved, and which you would have consigned to the dumpster.

Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images



  1. nic_chic says:

    I would say that even when they were matchy-matchy, I still wanted to replicate their style. I remember them wearing fitted, button up cowboy shirts for a while and wanting one SO bad. The slideshow is great, it hardly touches on so many wonderful things they’ve worn, but it definately was fun to look at. They are truly icons.

  2. bonjourkittykat says:

    I love these women! Beautiful, tiny ladies.

  3. jessiekthompson says:

    Like ‘em or hate ‘em, they owned the 00s

  4. MissDior777 says:

    There not my favorite duo, but they really set the trends of the decade..almost like fashion pyschics

  5. piano says:

    i’ve loved them ever since ‘how the west was fun.’ they’ve always been style icons to me. i’ve loved their transformations over that past 10 years and am looking forward to see what the next 10 years hold!

  6. dineKstyle says:

    I have always admired these girls. I would love to see them design fashion for women that are their size. They must understand the fustration of being petite and having a tailor on hand! Why dosen’t someone design fashion forward clothes for the petite woman. They should be the ones to do it.
    Just my opinion!

  7. fashiontadpole12 says:

    I love their style im not sure if im lovine the new direction they’re heading in…i feel like its getting borderline too frumpy in my opinion. However i will always be paying attention no matter what they are wearing they are icons.

  8. ToucanBoutique says:

    I think in the future we’ll recognize these young ladies as being way ahead of their times.

  9. Marie_Harfjeld91 says:

    I absolutely adore the Giambattista Valli look, those heels are so out of this world fantastic! These girls have always been style icons to me!

  10. blackcard says:

    in my next life i want to come back as an olsen sister.they are tres tres CHIC!

  11. AshleyKanaan says:

    My favourite twins! From a kid following them on screen, reading thier books through my tweens, and now as a teenager following them through fashion…these girls have never failed to inspire me and they’ll always be socially reigning!

  12. EmmexElle says:

    I’ve been a fan since I was introduced to them in first grade with Full House and their corny straight-to-video movies (I’d have to say they were corny, but I was so fascinated by the twin that I couldn’t hate those videos).

    I often liked how they were dressed (coordinated or otherwise). There were many times when I would question how they were ever style icons in the first place, but then, I would get my answer immediately when I see other pictures of them in other outfits. It’s striking how they’ve set a lot of the trends that have been around over the course of this decade: plaid button-down shirts, oversized accessories (chunky necklaces and oversized sunglasses, handbags, clutches), cowboy boots, vintage, leggings, ripped jeans, belts hanging at the hips, gladiator shoes, messy hair, leather/latex leggings, sky high heels, Ray Ban wayfarers, John Lennon-like round sunglasses, and last, but certainly not the least, BOHO/DUMPSTER CHIC.

    I could name more, but there have been so many trends they have set that it’s hard to include/remember them all.

    Still, to this day, even though their style was always laid back, I think the whole boho thing went into full swing after Mary Kate went to rehab for anorexia. I have never seen her wear anything revealing her back since those tabloid allegations of an eating disorder. Everything has been huge to hide her petite figure.

    The only aspect of their style I don’t appreciate is the wearing of fur. If included, it’s usually a large fur coat. It made me more upset when I saw that Mary Kate’s bed was covered with fur in their coffee book “Influence.”

    Nonetheless, they’re still fashion icons to my eyes.

  13. rachelshawndellerobe says:

    the years would have bee terribly boring and AWFUL without my 2 favorite twins…their style is FLAWLESS.

  14. biapattoli says:

    I completely agree with you guys. I think it´s been amzing to see their evolution in fashion. They are truly trendsetters and I think they have this thing for catching the zeitgeist of fashion. The retail market has a lot to learn from their personal style.
    And I definetely LOVE the sequined dress from Elizabeth and James, that MK wore. It´s stunning.

  15. LaurenEliz says:

    Anyone know where I can get the Chloe clog that Mary Kate is wearing in the slideshow?

  16. msestvanko says:

    I loved watching these chic girls grow up. I loved watching how there style matured with them!

  17. adhitawakal says:

    I think for most of the time the twins have managed to pull off what they wear. And yes, they are trendsetters. And what they set often turns out to be really cool. I agree that their look is often very laid back, which is great. The whole boho / dumpster chic thing works best for them, and even when they have like a thousand accessories on, they still shine through all that. One thing that frustrates me about the twins is how I still can’t really tell which one is Ashley and which one is Mary-Kate! (Ashley has darker hair, right?)

  18. dewiutari says:

    I love their style and they do have a lot of fans here in Jakarta, Indonesia!!!!

    Very inspiring yet effortlesssss in so many ways!!!!

    Love them always…


  19. null says:

    Mary Kate’s eyes are farther apart and she has a slightly rounder face… it is a sure fire way to tell them apart

  20. AnnieYan says:

    trend…support support

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