got a backpack from the Row on Net-a-Porter a few weeks ago and it's the best thing I've bought in a long time. I love it like crazy — it's practical, chic, kind of everything I have ever wanted out of a bag. Plus, it's fancy in the most discreet kind of way. Unless you're a real fashion person, you wouldn't bat an eyelash at it. But then the fashion girls are like, 'Oh my God, is that the backpack from the Row?!!!! It's AMAZING!'
When they received the best womenswear brand award for The Row at the CFDA Awards earlier on this week, it felt hard to remember Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's Disney days. While the brand has long been a go-to for editors and celebrities, the award cemented their position as being at the helm of a legitimate brand that deserves to be taken seriously. As CFDA president Steven Kolbtold Fashionista, 'They were patient and did it right.' This has served them well both with their own lines and partnerships.
Last week Superga, the Italian sneaker brand that the pair have a collection with, hosted a party to celebrate the launch of their first American store in SoHo. Steve Madden, who is responsible for the big launch and has worked with the twins for the last five years on their Elizabeth & James shoe line, complimented their attention to detail. 'They're very demanding, they're very tough,' he told Fashionista when asked what it was like to work with them. 'They want what they want and so we worked hard to get that done.' But it's this exacting standard that he says is their strength. 'They are a pain in the ass. But they're very good though.'
Anyone that follows The Fash Pack on Pinterest will know that I am a big fan of all things Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and regular readers will know just how fond I am of the pair's luxury brand, The Row.
Last night, then, it was great to see their work officially recognised at the 2012 CFDA Awards, as The Row beat stiff competition from the likes of Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler to bag the best womenswear brand award. Like Nicole Richie and Victoria Beckham, the Olsens are amongst the few names that have successfully managed to carve a legitimate fashion career for themselves despite their 'celebrity'.
With that in mind, have a look in the gallery for my favourite pieces from the brand's S/S12 collection available on Net-A-Porter.
Clockwise from top left: Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen in The Row; Solange Knowles in Marni; Kate Bosworth in Altuzarra; Dakota Fanning in Proenza Schouler; Pamela Love in Theyskens Theory; Tabitha Simmons and Karen Elson in Proenza Schouler
Last night the CFDA Awards, the Oscars of the fashion world, took place and in New York at Alice Tully Hall and the winners are in. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen took away the big womenswear designer of the year award for The Row, Joseph Altuzarra won the Swarovski Award for womenswear and Phillip Lim for menswear and Tommy Hilfiger was awarded the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award.
Simon Spurr didn't end up winning the menswear designer of the year award, which was just as well considering all of the controversy surrounding his departure from his namesake line.
The CFDA Awards are less than a week away and now the confirmations of those involved are coming in thick and fast. While we already know who some of the awards are going to - Johnny Depp is receiving the style icon award and the media award is going to Garance Dore and Scott Schuman - this years presenters have remained under wraps until now.
According to WWD, Jessica Chastain will present the women's wear award to Marc Jacobs, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for The Row or Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler. The menswear award will be presented to either Billy Reid, Simon Spurr or Patrik Ervell by Matt Bomer and Jessica Paré will present for accessories.
On a different note, who else has a feeling that Kim Kardashian will attend this year's event to make a point after Met Gala-gate?
Back in July Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen launched their new handbag line for the The Row at Barneys and while the collection was all really good, nobody could stop talking about their black crocodile skin backpack that retails for a whopping $39,000. 'I think if you were every going to spend $39,000 on a bag, that’s the bag you should buy because I think you’d wear it for a really long time,” Amanda Brooks, former fashion director at Barneys, said at the time. 'There’s enough design to make it interesting and beautiful but they truly are classic bags–and I think you also might be the only one who has it.'
While that might be true, we haven't seen anyone sport the bag or more importantly, actually purchase one, but it looks like Jessica Biel might be the first person to actually own it. This week she posted this image of her wearing the backpack on Twitter saying, 'In love with my #therow backpack. Thanks Ashley!' Biel's version isn't the crocodile skin style but still comes in at around $10,000. The tweet made it clear that she didn't actually buy it but she's definitely the first star to get their hands on one.
Anticipation for this year's Met Gala was high and the event definitely didn't disappoint. While it's true, there were several disappointing looks from people like Coco Rocha and Jessica Chastain, the majority of the looks were really strong and it was really good to see people research and commit to this year's Schiaparelli theme.
The above is a round-up of my favourite looks. Regular readers will know that I was on the dubious side about Joseph Altuzarrateaming up with Lana Del Rey but I was pleasantly surprised by the results. Her dress, along with her new dark hair, looked beautiful and so did Carey Mulligan in her golden Prada creation. As an Olsen fan, I'm generally impressed by anything either twin turns up in and last night was no different. The black dress from The Row that Mary-Kate Olsen was classically simple but still powerful.
As I write this post the weather outside is less than pleasant (I blame the good weather from the past few weeks for getting me excited for summer prematurely), which makes now the perfect time to start planning your sunnies before summer really begins. When it comes to shades, nobody does it quite as well as Nicole Richie and the Olsens and with that in mind it comes at no surprise that their respective lines, Elizabeth & James and House of Harlow 1960, are delivering some of the best styles this season.
Over the past year I've been sporting my tortoiseshell wayfarers but Richie's House of Harlow 'Chelsea' shades in black will definitely be my go to pair of sunglasses this year. If you're looking to make an investment the round-framed styles from Linda Farrow for The Row are equally as good, especially if you like the black version that Mary-Kate Olsen has been sported over the last few years. For more wallet friendly styles, head to Topshop who have very similar styles but for less than £30 or if the cat-eye is your shape of choice, Whistles do the perfect reinterpretation of Tom Ford's much loved frames.
They may have parted from their roles as co-creative directors at Supergra this month but things are still going from strength to strength for Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Today the duo confirmed that they have just hired Prada US president and CEO François Kress to join their brand, The Row.
The appointment comes at no surprise. The duo are known for their strong business acumen and Prada have continued to do very well in the past few years so his appointment makes sense, especially as the brand is reportedly looking to expand. "He quickly became the obvious choice for us and for the brand, having experience in multiple categories which we feel is essential for growth of The Row," Mary-Kate explained in a release. "His experience and sensibility will add great value to The Row in its next phase of development," Ashley added.