Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen announced on November 2 during Women Wear Daily's CEO Summit that they're adding handbags to their upscale apparel line The Row starting Fall 2010, with shoes following shortly thereafter. The addition of these fashion accessories would transform The Row into what the Olsen twins call a "proper American luxury brand, made in America."
The Olsens have reason to expand their brand given its success among customers, stylists and editors. The Row was launched in 2007, centered on the idea of creating the perfect tee, and has since involved into a comprehensive line selling eveningwear, outerwear, knits, menswear and sunglasses. The sophisticated and simple line reflects the twins' boho chic style: Think leather motorcycle pants, oversize sweaters and plaid button-downs. The prices are steep: $275 for a plain T-shirt and $4400 for a cashmere wrap coat.
"I felt there was something missing from the marketplace," Ashley Olsen told Women's Wear Daily on why she and Mary Kate teamed up to create The Row. "I was a shopper. I felt that basic luxury was missing. We started it very small, selling only to one store at a time, starting with Barneys New York."
Following the success of The Row, the twins launched two more labels- Elizabeth and James and the juniors-oriented Olsenboye for JC Penney. The Olsens said they plan to have all three lines eventually carry a full range of lifestyle merchandise, including shoes and handbags, but only gave a specific timeline for The Row.
The Row is currently sold through upscale department stores in New York City including Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman as well as through a dedicated e-commerce site launched this past summer. International shipping is available for shoppers living outside the US.
Other upscale celebrity clothing lines, including Sienna Miller's Twenty8Twelve and Victoria Beckham's eponymous label, have recently encompassed handbags into their collections. Twenty8Twelve branched out into accessories in Fall 2008 while Victoria Beckham debuted her new line of handbags, created with Marc Jacobs veteran designer Katie Hillier, at New York Fashion Week this past September. People magazine quoted Beckham saying, "A Beckham can replace your Birkin," inferring her handbags would connote the same luxury status as those of storied French label Hermès.
Shop The Row online: http://shop.therow.com/shop/
Browse Twenty8Twelve's A/W 2010 collection online: http://www.twenty8twelve.com/
Browse Victoria Beckham's A/W 2010 collection online: http://www.victoriabeckham.com/