Olsens Open First The Row Store
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson founded The Row in 2006 and now, almost 10 years later, they have opened the brand's first flagship store on Melrose Place. Their "hidden gem" is 3,800 square-feet and looks like a midcentury modern house Californian house, swimming pool and all.
Mary-Kate told WWD, "We've always wanted our own store; it's always been part of the plan. It was a toss-up between New York and L.A., and when this space became available, we jumped on it. It used to be a hair salon and my sister and I used to come here, so we were very aware of the space."
The designers really wanted the store to represent Los Angeles. "Ultimately, for us, it was about setting it up like a home and just having the apparel be a part of the space," said Ashley. They call the spaces on either side of the pool the east and west galleries and staged one like a dining room, and the other a living room. The front of the builing is called "the library." Their collection is housed all throughout the space including art and accent items from their personal collections.
"We have all 170 pieces in our collection represented here. A lot of stores obviously don't buy the whole collection, maybe 20 percent, so this is really the place where we can present it like a showroom," said Mary-Kate.
"It was important to us to open up our doors quietly. We're not going to have a party or anything; we want to make sure it's set up properly, merchandised properly, that things are working. Maybe in a month or so we'll do a dinner. For now, we just want to be open and get feedback from people close to us," said Ashley.
Like almost everything they have done with The Row, opening the store has been a methodical process. "We've always been one T-shirt at a time, one hire at a time," said Ashley. "We still run our business that way. We take on what the company can handle when it can handle it. This is not a fast-fashion brand, and I think it's important to allow [it] time to exist and grow the way it grows naturally."
Ultimately Ashley concluded, "This is our baby. This is something that we have nurtured and will continue to nurture. That is the way we feel about all our brands, but this one has always been a labor of love, and the space also reflects that."
About The Row:
The Row was established in 2006 by Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen. Since its launch, the brand has expanded to include a range of ready-to-wear, eyewear, and handbags. The Row reflects a sense of relaxed and timeless elegance, focusing on fine fabrics and the perfect fit. In 2012, The Council of Fashion Designers of America named Ashley and Mary-Kate as Womenswear Designers of The Year. Part of THE ROW's mission is to support high-end fashion manufacturing in the US.