7 life lessons we’ve taken from Mary Kate and Ashley

On the Olsen twins’ 30th birthday, we look back at the power duo's influence on our lives

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have always felt like two girls at school we kind of wanted to be. We wanted their on screen boyfriends (Jordan from Holiday in the Sun, anyone?), we wanted their wardrobes (yes we’re talking about those tie-dye flares from Winning London) but above all else we wanted a twin to get into all sorts of trouble with.

But the appeal of the Olsen twins far surpasses their ability to attract cute guys and customize their clothes. When they broke their way into the fashion industry, they proved their credentials as designers too.

First dismissed as celebrities attempting to slap their name on a fashion brand, they proved the haters wrong, put in the hours and are now recognized as key players in the fashion industry. They’ve won three CDFA awards for their now prestigious labels, The Row and Elizabeth & James.

It’s safe to say that Mary-Kate and Ashley are truly two of a kind, proving to be good role models at any age. Here we look back at the best life lessons the Olsen twins have taught us over the years…

Always go big on accessories
The Olsen twins are renowned for their statement accessories, their mantra being the bigger, the better. In fact whether working in New York, fashion week-ing in Paris or jetting overseas, they are rarely seen without their trademark look: massive designer shades, an oversized handbag and a Chai Tea Latte.

Remain true to your own style
The Olsen Twins have given us style envy from a young age both on screen and off, but it’s fair to say that they have both faced criticism over the years – with Mary-Kate’s look often being described as ‘homeless’. That hasn’t stopped the duo, who have both remaining true to their signature styles. Mary-Kate the boho hippy one, and Ashley the clean cut and classic one.

Put family first

Mary-Kate and Ashley have always been family girls, prioritizing their loved ones and crediting them for keeping them grounded. Their relationship with younger sister Elizabeth is especially sweet, with Elizabeth appearing in some of the twins’ early films and being one of the inspirations for the name of their contemporary fashion brand ‘Elizabeth and James’.


Travel and explore

Whether riding around Paris on the back of cute French boys’ mopeds, hiding in Sydney from jewel thieves or recovering stolen antiquities from yachts in the Bahamas, Mary-Kate and Ashley did it all (in their films of course) – travelling far and wide and encouraging us all to do the same.

Work hard

When Mary-Kate and Ashley started in the fashion industry they weren’t taken seriously, and were judged by many on the films that they had made during their teenage years. They had the last laugh though, quietly buckling down to work, proving to everyone how serious they really were and teaching us that dedication really does pay off. They are now two of the most influential businesswomen in the world.

Learn from the strong women around you
Mary-Kate and Ashley have always surrounded themselves with strong inspirational women, gaining wisdom from everyone from Diane von Furstenberg to Lauren Hutton.

Your sister will always be there for you

If there is one thing that we have learnt from Mary-Kate and Ashley, it is the importance of sisterhood. Whether born sisters or becoming sisters through years of friendship, Mary-Kate and Ashley teach us that your girls are the most important so hold them close and if you do, as we can see from the Olsen twins, together you will be unbeatable. Mary-Kate summed up her relationship with Ashley as ‘we have been room mates our whole life’

Happy 30th birthday Mary-Kate and Ashley. We’ll be digging out our treasured videos of Passport to Paris and Winning London and ogling The Row tonight in your honour.

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