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  • L-R: Ashley wears sweater and skirt by The Row; earrings by Ana Khouri; necklace Ashley’s own; rings by Ileana Makri. Mary-Kate wears sweater by The Row; shirt and skirt Mary-Kate's own; earrings by Ana Khouri; all other jewelry Mary-Kate’s own

    “We were NINE months old when we STARTED, so fame has always been a PART of our lives”


    last year she began dating Olivier Sarkozy, half brother of former French president Nicolas, 17 years her senior. Though not a subject up for discussion, the pairing makes sense after spending time in Mary-Kate’s company: the twins aren’t typical 20-somethings, nor are they typical celebrities. ‘Old souls’ seems a cliché, but there is certainly something intangible about them. They have known nothing but fame, but have used it to their advantage, never allowing it to become bigger than their plans and still maintaining their privacy for the most part. “We were nine months old when we started, so fame has always been part of our lives. There wasn’t any weirdness where we decided that we wanted to be famous,” Ashley explains. “Then as we got older, we

    were very fortunate that we could hire and work with amazing people who want to protect us.”


    Now they are using their experience to help young people build their businesses. “I sit on a couple of boards, and [whether it is a] jewelry or furniture designer, we figure out who they need to talk to,” says Ashley. “It’s nothing for us to pick up the phone, but it means a lot to do it,” pitches in Mary-Kate. While they won’t be drawn on discussing other luxury brands, surely they must have been approached for high-profile design positions over the years? After all, they are “named” designers who have built a hugely successful luxury label. Mary-Kate answers steadily that they are just “really focused on The Row at the moment”. Ashley, however, smiles cheekily and finishes her sister’s sentence: “But we could probably help them a little...”

    credits

    Hair: Charley Brown at Next Artists. Makeup: Hung Vanngo at The Wall Group. Nails: Martha Fekete at Bryan Bantry. Fashion assistant: Hannah Cooper

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