Seeing Double

January 29 2011

Aren’t the Olsen twins something else? Not only are they deeply involved in the design of their well-received high-end clothing line, The Row, they have already developed a chic (and not inexepensive) bridge line loved by fashion trendsters which is called Elizabeth and James. as well as Olsenboye (their spelling, not mine) for J.C. Penney. In a recent interview in WWD, they talked about their ambitions to build a domestically produced clothing empire, starting with clothing, then moving on to shoes and accessories. They see The Row developing into a lifestyle brand, complete with retail outlets and collaborations with other brands.

Okay, what’s interesting here is that they are moving the big brand umbrella along in more than one direction at the same time. They have had very canny management, and are clearly incredible, discerning trend-watchers with a clear sense of the high, and low, of the marketplace. In the past, many fashion brands would have been afraid to bastardize their image at a such a young point in their development. The Olsens are working on all three tiers at once -- high-end, bridge, and mass. They clearly understand that THEY are the brand, the price point doesn’t matter. Their vision makes sense to buyers at many different economic levels. This is something that Martha Stewart has done very effectively, with everything from Bernhardt to K-mart. And they are only twenty-four years old!!

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