What Happened To Mary-Kate And Ashley Olsen?

Whatever happened to the elusive Olsen twins?

By Nicole Andre4 min read
Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris

The Olsen twins have been household names pretty much since birth. And yet, they are known for being private and elusive – the kind of celebrities whose interviews are dubbed “rare” and who leave you wondering, “Hey, what ever happened to them?”

Well, between television, movies, rumors, marriage, fashion, and entrepreneurship, the Olsen twins have pretty much done it all. Beginning with their Full House days, this is everything you need to know about Hollywood's favorite twins and where they are today.

A Full House

Cute twins to star in a friendly sitcom? You got it, dude! Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen got their start on the classic show Full House as the sassy and adorable Michelle Tanner. Her character was known for catchphrases like “You got it, dude,” “Aw, nuts,” “DUH,” “You’re in big trouble, mister,” “Oh, please,” and “Let's roll, daddy-O.” They each traded off playing the role for the show’s eight year run. 

Their career got started on a whim when their mom sent their photo to a casting agency for the heck of it. Having twins was a win for the producers because they could get 40 minutes of working time, as the law stated you could only film infants for a total of 20 minutes. But that doesn’t mean getting the shot was easy. In fact, the two cried so much that they were fired! But they were later rehired after their replacement didn’t work out. 

The show made the Olsen twins a beloved household name and gave them a springboard for the many endeavors they would undertake in the years to come. 

Their Own Movie Series

The twins’ acting career didn’t end with Full House. The two starred in their very own series of movies together. In one of their most popular movies, It Takes Two, they played identical twins who accidentally meet. And in New York Minute, the two play bickering sisters who are forced to travel to New York together, and adventure ensues along the way. This movie was their final appearance on the silver screen together. 

On their 18th birthday, the two became the joint owners of their movie company, Dualstar. They would later use the company when opening their iconic brand The Row. But it also marked the end of their acting careers. Many fans hoped they would come back for Fuller House, the long awaited revival of the much loved Full House, but they declined to participate. 

One of the twins’ favorite sayings is that “no is a full sentence,” so over the years, they have come to be very specific about what they choose to do and not do. 

Mary-Kate and Ashley Collection

The twins first dabbled in the fashion world with their Walmart collection marketed to girls ages 4 to 14. The collection featured the trends of the 2000s with halter tops, brightly colored swimsuits, and ribbon belts, and was featured in their very first runway show in Paris. But that would be far from the twins' final stint in the fashion world.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Go to College

The twins did go to college. NYU, to be precise, but it wasn’t exactly what you’d call the typical college experience. They bought and fully renovated a penthouse in West Village, but never actually moved in. Instead, they rented two floors of a brownstone in the same neighborhood for over $10,000 a month. Their manager lived nearby, as well as the design team for their Walmart collection.

This followed Mary-Kate’s treatment in a Utah center specializing in treating eating disorders. It’s not something that Mary-Kate has talked about openly, though she was brutally questioned about it during a live interview with Oprah. Ashley jumped in and said they were both petite but weren’t sure what size they were. 

By their college years, they had both moved a long way away from the innocence they had as babies on Full House, as is the fate of far too many child stars. It was during these years that they both got into the bad habit of chain smoking – a habit that still follows them today in their careers in the fashion world, as an unfortunately romanticized symbol of chicness in countless photographs saved of them on Pinterest boards and blogs. 

The Row 

Mary-Kate and Ashley addressed their decision to leave acting for fashion in a 2019 interview with Vogue. "We've been there, we've done that, we started out that way," Mary-Kate said. "But this is the way we chose to move forward in our lives: to not be in the spotlight, to really have something that speaks for itself."

Unlike the majority of celeb brands, The Row is one that has stood the test of time. After being regulars of the front row at fashion shows and becoming known for their minimalist, oversized sense of style, Mary-Kate and Ashley founded what would soon become a brand synonymous with stylish and high quality.

The Row has a cult following, with good reason. It’s certainly not in most people’s price points, but they are known for making quality staples. 

The brand has recently been trending on TikTok for the EW Margaux bag. The bag has a waitlist, but with the smaller sizes starting at $4,290, it’s still not nearly as pricey or as elusive as a Birkin. With celebrities from Kendall Jenner to Jennifer Garner carrying the bag, you’re sure to see it become a staple in the fashion landscape for those in the know.

Even the name of their company set them apart from other celebrity brands. They chose to avoid using their names, wanting to instead let the clothes speak for themselves. Ashley was even quoted in an interview as saying, “Who could we get to front this so that we don’t have to?”

Because of the reputation of celebrity fashion brands, many were skeptical of The Row when it started, but it has proved critics wrong with each passing collection. The Olsens later went on to launch sister brand Elizabeth & James, but it has not had nearly the bombshell effect on the fashion world as The Row has had. 

Marriage and Kids

Mary-Kate was married to French banker Olivier Sarkozy for five years. The two first met at a party and were often spotted out dining and at sports games together. Sarkozy is 17 years older than Mary-Kate which many fans were critical of at the time. They married in 2015, but ultimately split in 2020 in an "emergency divorce" petition over differences of opinion about kids and lifestyle. In a rare interview with Net-A-Porter's PORTER magazine in 2017, Olsen said of her work-life balance, "I have a husband, two step-kids and a life; I have to go home and cook dinner."

Ashley married 35-year-old artist Louis Eisner in December of 2022 in a private ceremony after reportedly being just friends for years, and in August of 2023, the two welcomed their first son, Otto.

True to form, the Olsens have been extremely private about their relationships, and Ashley has also been careful to protect her child from the spotlight. 

Closing Thoughts

The Olsen twins are two of Hollywood’s most beloved enigmas. It’s safe to say we’ll keep watching to find out what their next move will be. And given how all of their decisions seem to be meticulously planned, we’re excited about whatever it is. 

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