Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Were Fashion Moguls Long Before The Row

Back before celebrity brands became the thing to do in Hollywood, Mary-Kate and Ashley were creating an empire. Although they are known for their successful fashion brand, The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley actually got their start in the fashion industry much earlier than many people might realize. As young women when they were still churning out films under their jointly-owned company, Dualstar Entertainment Group, LLC., the twins expanded their brand to include retail. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen arrive at the 2019 CFDA fashion awards
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen | ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

They got their start on ‘Full House’

Technically fraternal twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley started acting when they were just babies. They both played Michelle Tanner on the beloved sitcom, Full House. The girls were mainstays on the show from when it began in 1987 until the series went off the air in 1995.

After Full House ended, the sisters continued to spend time in front of the camera, releasing straight-to-video movies such as To Grandmother’s House We Go, Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, How the West Was Fun, and The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley that soon led to books, video games, TV shows, and a fan club. Creating, producing, and starring in more than 20 films in 10 years, Mary-Kate and Ashley became millionaires

Mary-Kate and Ashley once had a clothing line at Walmart

The girls already had a major following thanks to their movies such as Passport to Paris, Billboard Dad, and Our Lips Are Sealed when they joined the retail space. They started their own fashion line because they had trouble finding stylish clothes that fit them and decided to make their own.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Walmart clothing collection display
Mary-Kate and Ashley Store Display | Annamaria DiSanto/WireImage

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Sold exclusively at Walmart for girls ages 4-14, the Mary-Kate and Ashley collection debuted in 2004. According to Harper’s Bazaar, they even debuted the line with a runway show in Paris, France. The brand’s slogan? “Real fashion for real girls.”

Not long after they started with clothing, the twins’ line at Walmart soon expanded to hundreds of branded products including accessories, dolls, cosmetics, perfume, and more. And soon their products were sold worldwide in Walmart stores.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen announce their Walmart clothing line
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen | Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images

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According to CNN Money, while Dualstar didn’t disclose earnings from the Walmart line, some estimates put the number at $700 million. To promote their brand, Mary-Kate and Ashley would even wear clothes from the collection in their movies. And as any longtime fan of theirs knows, whatever clothing the girls wore in their movies were highly sought after.  

They started The Row in 2006

100% owners of The Row, Mary-Kate and Ashley used the money they earned from a lifetime of working in the entertainment industry and probably cash they made from their Walmart line, to launch their high-end brand for women. They stepped back from acting and focused solely on fashion, which is what they are still doing today. Known for selling t-shirts for hundreds of dollars apiece and catering to an older demographic, The Row has become a big name in the fashion industry. 

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Not only do Mary-Kate and Ashley have a pricey label, but they also launched a more affordable brand, Elizabeth and James, that is now sold exclusively at Kohl’s. It seems the sisters are going back to their roots with affordable retailers. Here’s hoping they revive their Walmart collection someday!