Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Fuller Olsen (born June 13, 1986) are American actresses. Both have appeared in television and films since infancy. Since then, they have continued their celebrity through numerous television programs, films, interviews, as well as commercial endorsements. Although they are virtually identical in appearance, they are genetically different fraternal twins. (They prefer the term "individual pair".)
As the sisters have matured, there has been greater interest in their fashion choices, with the New York Times declaring Mary-Kate a fashion icon for pioneering her signature (and now popular among celebrities and fans alike) "homeless" look. The style, sometimes referred to as "ashcan" or "Boho-chic" or bohemian-bourgeois, is similar to that of Bohemian chic popularized in Britain by Kate Moss and Sienna Miller. The look consists of oversized sunglasses, boots, loose sweaters, and flowing skirts all with an aesthetic of mixing high end pieces with low end. Their fashion choices, however, have not been without controversy. Ashley Olsen was included on PETA's 2006 Worst Dressed list for wearing fur.
Mary-Kate and Ashley have a clothing line in Wal-Mart stores across North America for girls ages 4 – 14 as well as a beauty line called "Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real fashion for real girls". In 2004 they made news by signing a pledge to allow all the workers that sew their line of clothing in Bangladesh full maternity leave. The National Labor Committee, which organized the pledge, later praised the twins for their commitment to worker rights. The director of the organization, Charles Kernaghan, is quoted as saying, "The Olsen twins have done the right thing. Now it is up to Wal-Mart to either support Mary-Kate and Ashley’s commitment to women’s rights, or tragically to shut them down."
They were tapped as the faces of upscale fashion line Badgley Mischka in 2006, in an attempt to gain credibility in the fashion industry after their association with Wal-Mart. They have also launched their own new couture fashion label "The Row" named after the famous Savile Row of London. The pair have also started a new line for The Row, entitled "Elizabeth & James", named after their siblings.
Mary-Kate and Ashley have been criticized by animal rights group PETA for their use of fur in their fashion line, The Row.