Mary Kate And Ashley Olsen opened their second store for their higher end line The Row, last week in mid May. The store is in a townhouse in the Upper East Side of New York City, at 17 East 71st Street. It was a discreet opening, as is the stores exterior appearance, a simple brick building in New York with a pair of shoes in the display window and a small sign by the door.
This isn’t a store we’re used to, you go there and there’s aisles and racks with clothes. When you think Mary Kate and Ashley you have to think ridiculously off the wall, to most bizarre, extravagant settings. The building is three stories, the store has a more art gallery atmosphere than actual products for sale. And that is exactly what it is, it’s an art gallery filled with tables, furniture, sculptures, decor pieces, anything, that Mary Kate And Ashley have purchased as a business, not personally, to resell. Anything on the wall, everything in the place is for sale.
“I was telling people earlier that it’s for sale tomorrow,” Mary Kate clarified, “because I can’t imagine moving a couch out of here today.”
Their Los Angeles store for The Row is the same way.
And there are skirts, dresses, and gowns hanging around, shoes in place underneath. Sections of shoes on display.
The store was designed by the French interior designer Jacques Grange, who has clients such as Yves Saint Lauren. “It’s more private-feeling than business-feeling,” Mr. Grange said, speaking by phone from Paris. “In the words of Mary-Kate and Ashley, ‘More private.’”
“We never thought of a store being just our brand,” Ashley said. “We think our stuff works best when it’s in a proper context.”