May 30th, 2011
03:38 PM ET
Before becoming fashion-world darlings with their string of successful clothing lines, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were raising eyebrows with their street style.
As New York University students in 2004, the duo defined "homeless chic," draping themselves in layers of clothing, including shawls, oversize shirts, long skirts, and tattered tights. Today, the twins insist they weren't trying to be trendy.
"[It was] us waking up, going to school, and not wanting anyone to take our picture. Kind of a piece of protection," Ashley tells Style.com of their quirky ensembles.
Adds Mary-Kate, "For me, it was so cold, like the wind chill. How could you not put on 20 things when you’re going from Los Angeles to walking through the snow?... I think it was probably that. And laziness."
These days, the style icons are still inspiring the fashion world thanks to their clothing lines The Row, Olsenboye, Elizabeth and James and Textile Elizabeth and James. But of course, the former "Full House" stars are equally beloved for their acting.
"All over the world I think people know us from different stages of our life and different things, whether it’s videos or Walmart or as designers or acting," says Mary-Kate. "I think it’s remarkable that children know us now from things that we did 20 years ago, when we were little guys."
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