The Olsen twins are an iconic duo who were everywhere you looked from the nineties to the early naughties. However, they soon seemed to disappear from public view completely.
It’s no coincidence that they just disappeared – the pair actively took the decision to step back from fame after having lived in the limelight for the years of their youth.
Now, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen made their acting debut when they were just 9 months old in 1987, when they jointly bagged the role of Michelle Tanner on Full House. In order to obey by child labour laws, the pair took turns in playing the role, which they did until the character left the show in 1995.
However, by this point the sisters were already making a name for themselves in the industry. They had begun appearing as separate characters in straight-to-home video movies such as To Grandmother’s House We Go, How the West Was Fun and, of course, The Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley.
By the time of the millennium, the twins had made such a name for themselves in Hollywood that there was all manner of products being produced with Mary-Kate and Ashley branding, including fragrances, books and even Mattel-produced dolls!
They held such power in the industry that by the age of just eighteen they both became co-presidents of Dualstar, an entertainment company which had been set up when they were just 6 years old.
It was around this time that the sisters’ final film together was released, New York Minute.
Behind the scenes, the twins were going through some tough times. Per Nicki Swift, Mary-Kate was suffering with anorexia.
The star has never directly confirmed this publicly, but she told Elle in 2008: “Look, I think it’s important that what anybody goes through — and I’m not saying that it’s true or not true — you realise it’s part of growing up. Everybody is going to go through hard times. It’s a part of life.”
She added that “asking for help” and “being honest with yourself” is the “hardest part.”
The twins started at NYU in 2004, but it didn’t last long, as, per People, Mary-Kate had dropped out by a year later, with Ashley soon to follow.
However, by the 2010s, the twins had found their feet. Both of them had developed a huge interest in fashion, and turned their attention to creating a billion dollar empire.
Per E! News, the pair first launched their clothing brand The Row in 2006.
“We sold it at first with no label,” Mary-Kate told Women’s Wear Daily. “Only certain people knew it was us behind it. We didn’t do any press. Our idea—because we had been in the branding industry for a very long time—was ‘If the product’s good, it will sell.’”
By 2012, the business had really set off, and they were winning awards left right and centre.
“They are very involved and hands-on with their companies,” an insider revealed to E! News. “They work every day. They have an office in New York that they both go to and they attend meetings and conferences all the time.”
Aside from their success in fashion, the twins both found partners. Mary-Kate was married to Oliver Sarkozy, a brother of the former President of France, from 2015 to 2021, whereas Ashley married Louis Eisner just last year.