Olsen twins explain their 'homeless chic' style
May 30th, 2011
03:38 PM ET

Olsen twins explain their 'homeless chic' style

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."

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. download fonts,photoshop fonts,free fonts download,fonts for photoshop

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with useful info to paintings on. You have performed an impressive job and our entire community will likely be grateful to you.

    September 24, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  2. malsings07

    The olson twins look like little cute monkeys they never made the look into adult and being in the business with this look "Homeless Chic" maybe they can actually give money to the real homeless for decent clothes for using "their look"

    June 28, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Chartreuxe

    One hates to disabuse you of your misunderstanding, Balto Paul, but these little chickadees aren't identical twins. They're fraternal. Just FYI.

    June 23, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dan

    Icons? Homeless chic? Are you kidding me? Let's try arrogant and irrelevant Hollywood trash who are as train-wreck ugly now as they were 20 years ago. My message to these "icons" is this: YAAAAAAAWN.

    June 19, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. yikes

    Not jealous – I have 2 NYU graduates – one of which was in school at the same time they were. Notice, I said graduates – both Olsen twins are NYU dropouts – because even celebrities have to go to class and get passing grades at NYU. My children found their clothes to be ridiculous – 2 young attractive girls dressing like homeless old ladies is not something to aspire to be. As far as being the objects of a paparazzi's desire – we all know that celeb's publicist's call the the cameras to let them know where the star is going to be so that they are featured somewhere. What I found even more ridiculous is there presence at the clubs and drinking when they were under 21. Did they really think no one was watching? Get rid of the costumes and the petulant pout – it only works when you're a teenager.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Amanda

    I didn't know there was anything "chic" about being homeless. Put these two pigs on the streets for a week and put them in REAL homeless clothes...full of bugs, vomit, feces, garbage, etc....and see how long they last.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. balto paul

    I have enough trouble getting my daughter to brush her hair as it is. I don't need these two as role models.

    I am glad that Britney Spears went nuts and shaved her head, though. I used to tell my girl that if she went to kindergarten without underwear on she'd end up like that.

    June 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Kimmie


    June 12, 2011 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. rtbrno65

    P-I-Z-Z-A !!!

    June 12, 2011 at 5:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. bob

    They look freck'in stupid! Dah... Can I look any stupider!

    June 10, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Rock

    They both look like Chihuahua puppies getting ready to attack someone

    June 7, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Bow Wow

      Oh man! That was mean, but you are so right. I'm laughing as hard as I can right now.

      June 27, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Schlitz

    "equally beloved for their acting."


    June 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. nikki

    I've been watching mary-kate and ashley on tv all my life – programmes&films they are not bad role models – and they have worked all their live's – u say they're ugly and annorexic?? Define this as I think thy are pretty and how r thy annorexic??? Maybe your just jealous coz your an old dog

    June 5, 2011 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Ixay

      my guess is that the people who are jealous are not old dogs. probably by your standards, I am an old dog, and the people who are in my age group are celebrities like Aniston, Depp and Cruise. I was curious about the girls, but I can't imagine being jealous of them. us old dogs don't tend to be jealous of people our daughter's age. so don't bash on us old dogs.

      June 5, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sunsetinthecity

    I'm at work and I've been sitting on my butt reading stupid articles about famous people.

    June 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jim

    People on here are so jealous. These two girls were thrown in to acting as babies with no choice. We've all seen the issues and challeges people face once they become famous.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  16. G

    Monchichi, monchichi, oh so soft and uh-ga-lee....

    June 1, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Pliny

    "Those girls haved worked their whole lives".

    REALLY? Do you even know what it is to 'work for 8 hours a day'?
    Have you ever actually had to 'work for a living'?
    Have you ever, once in your entire life', had to swing a hammer, or use a pitchfork?
    You clueless pinheads would shrivel up and die if you were ever confronted with an HONEST DAYS WORK.
    So don't tell me that these two brats...pampered, over-complimented, narccistic, SELFISH, spoiled little monsters have ever even come close to 'work'.
    That toilet don't flush.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michelle

      So in your mind, only farmers actually work??? (or anyone doing manual labor)

      June 1, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      No, I've never been a farmer or part of an angry mob. What does that have to do with anything? We are no longer an agrarian society so most people haven't used a pitchfork. Maybe you should check out some college courses.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Evilqueen620

    They were beautiful as children, they were beautiful as teens and they are beautiful as adults. So they had a few bumps in the road, does that give people the right to criticize. Haven't any of you ever had a friend who went through something traumatic? Did you stay friends with them and help them, or did you drop kick them to the curb? I am so disgusted to call most of you fellow human beings. Mary-Kate and Ashley have been through things that most of your own kids, friends or siblings have been through and they have pulled through beautifully. Keep up the good work girls. I'm watching and see you keep moving up, up,up.

    May 31, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • MarieJ

      I couldn't agree with you more. You are absolutely right on all counts.

      June 1, 2011 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  19. Sleeping Beauty

    KiraJB, I couldnt agree with you more. With all these young girls and older woman going around half dressed leaving nothing to the imagination these two have common sense and dress decent along with being business smart. I also feel they look good. Just because they dont go around dressing up for the public doesnt mean they are not pretty.

    May 31, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  20. gah

    while my favorite character was always DJ on Full House, I agree with Kira that they are not bad role models because of how they dress or how they look. They created a clothing line and a business. While I don't buy from it nor like it, I still admit that it was smart of them since they probably won't be getting any more acting gigs.

    May 31, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  21. charlie crack

    Ummm....its explained as NASTY! Ole grungy little girls....take a bath!

    May 31, 2011 at 7:12 am | Report abuse |
  22. sandyk

    Isnt `homeless chic` a take-off of the clothing line from ZOOLANDER cant remember what it was called in movie ~ lol

    May 30, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  23. katika

    Those girls haved worked their whole lives. It's nobodies business to judge them that way. Anyone who does is just jealous

    May 30, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
  24. The Mad R@p3r

    Just the phrase "homeless chic" is staggeringly depressing, more so that they probably employ 3rd world wage-slaves to make it, then mark the rags up a fortune.

    May 30, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • alumette

      They make money selling junk poor people sweat to make so they can sell it for 100 times what it cost to make . Some profit. Where is all that money going? up their noses and other places....unlikely charities.

      May 31, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
  25. barbara

    Someone buy them a comb, please!

    May 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm | Report abuse |


    May 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • alumette

      Anorexia is not their only problem. They managed to escape the addictions issues on numerous occasions. They are not role models on any level. I see them as pathetic leaches of a society that reveres a " famous" face. We are the idiots who actually buy their products. They can put out trash for public use but people do not need to buy it....and they should not reward these two .

      May 31, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  27. Sunshine Girl *

    I can only imagine what this clothing line looks like. They were ugly babies and teenagers. And now that their adults they still are not attractive. And the way they dress emphisises that even more. With their bulging eyes and anorexia just makes it all the worse. Who would want to look like that? Certainly not good role models for young women. Just my opinion.

    May 30, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kira JB

      Just my opinion, I don't think what they look like makes them a bad role model. if we want to talk about bad role models look at lindsay lohan, paris hilton, and britney spears. I think that if anything, them wearing a lot of clothes is better than them wearing pretty much nothing. we haven't seen their goods like we have the others I have spoken about above. If you don't find them pretty then thats how you feel but that doesn't mean they are bad role models. I would rather have my daughter looking up to them for their business smarts. If you think they are bad role models then I don't want to know what your idea of a good role model is. once again just my opinion

      May 31, 2011 at 2:14 am | Report abuse |
    • happyimhere

      You bunch of jealous cronies....get a life!!!

      May 31, 2011 at 8:32 am | Report abuse |
    • josie

      Couldn't have said it better myself, but these little skinny doped up ex-child actresses get press every now and then and we take the time to read it and comment, go figure.

      May 31, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • NyteShayde

      I would have thought the same thing, but their Elizabeth and James couture line is actually quite nice. Simple lines, excellent textiles, and good taste. They have a good eye. What they look like is irrelevant in this case. I have never been a fan of these girls but I am impressed with their work ethic and their talent. I believe Harper's had an article about their couture line last fall / winter. It was a good read.

      May 31, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Peace

    20yrs ago they were "little guys"? Oh man, I'm getting old!

    May 30, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Love fashion icons!

    Oh goody!!!

    May 30, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |

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