The Olsen Twins Once Explained How to Tell Them Apart

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have been acting since they were infants. The luxury fashion designers have since taken a step back to cultivate their brand and make minimal appearances. But when they step out on town, some still find it difficult to tell them apart. Luckily, they gave a rundown on how to do so in an old interview. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen (L) and Ashley Olsen attend 2015 CFDA Fashion Awards Announcement Party | Rob Kim/Getty Images

The Olsen Twins explain to Oprah how to tell them apart

Though fraternal twins, most people have a difficult time telling the Olsen twins apart. It also doesn’t help that they took turns playing the role of Michelle Tanner on Full House for nearly a decade. Even though their own films and television specials, fans have had trouble differentiating the two.

But Mary-Kate and Ashley insist there distinct differences between them. They broke it down during a 2004 visit to The Oprah Winfrey Show.

At the time, the 18-year-olds changed their appearance in hopes of beginning to create their own identity and make it easier for others to tell them apart. “I have blonde hair right now, Mary-Kate has brown hair,” Ashley joked.

Source: YouTube

Related: Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Reveal Why They Refused to Join ‘Full House’ Reboot — ‘We Don’t Like to Spread Ourselves Too Thin’

Of the more genetic ways to tell, May-Kate explained that Ashley used to have a visible freckle. “I think it disappeared or something,” Mary-Kate followed up. Ashley explained that the freckle was above her lip and admitted that it vanished.

Ashley noted that in addition to her being two minutes older than her sister, she’s also one inch taller. Mary-Kate is also left-handed, with Ashley being right-handed. But Oprah makes it clear that unless the two are writing, no one would be able to tell.

Still, they maintain they have the twin magic, often finishing one another’s sentences. Regardless, they embrace their differences while still enjoying their similarities and bond as twins.

The Olsen Twins have since focused on building their fashion portfolio

Mary-Kate and Ashley are credited as one of the first to seamlessly transition from acting to fashion. Their love of fashion began early with clothing lines in stores like K-Mart that earned them millions but they wanted something bigger and better. They are now considered fashion royalty with their clothing brand, Row.

Row is considered “luxury basics.” Per a Town and Country Mag report, a T-shirt can cost upwards of $320 – while the brand’s legendary alligator backpack sold for $39,000. Sold at high-end retailers like Barney’s, Row is worn by the industry’s elite.

Despite the success of their brand, the sisters choose to remain out of the spotlight. Marie Claire editor-in-chief Aya Kanai told Town and Country Mag, “They don’t go to events; they barely stand on a red carpet ever. They’re not social climb-y in any way. They don’t even want to participate.”

Source: YouTube

Related: Here’s How Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Have Been Making Money Since Retiring From Acting

The anonymity has worked for the former child stars. They’ve avoided the pitfalls of fame that typically include scandal with actors who start off as young as the Olsens did. But fashion insiders say playing coy is not a foreign concept for most designers.

“I just don’t think that it’s a part of a larger strategy,” says WWD style director Alex Badia. “I think that’s who they are as people; they are private… I work with so many designers, they tend to be the most reserved.”

Still, when the Olsens step onto a red carpet, they still light up a photo!