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Mary-Kate Olsen, Ashley Olsen accused of copying other fashion designers

USMagazine, Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 10:50am (PDT)
  • Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen have built a successful fashion empire over the years, launching high-end labels like The Row and Elizabeth & James. Despite their financial and critical successes, however, one celebrity stylist has accused the 27-year-old twins of ripping off other designers. Speaking to Vogue Italia, Lysa Cooper -- who's worked with Rihanna and Elizabeth Hurley -- disses the popularity of celebrity fashion lines.

    "The only one that's any good, and I hate to say it, are our girls, the twins. The Row. But the reason that works is because they hired designers. They 'yay' or 'nay' [the concepts]. And they are the best line at ripping off other lines that I've ever seen," she says of the former child actresses. "I mean, they've taken Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester. But it's good. You know, they're good at it. I don't buy it, but they're good at it."

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    Cooper says real fashion designers should go to school first. "If you go to school, then maybe you can talk some s---."

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    The Olsen twins, who transitioned from Hollywood as students at New York University, are used to such criticisms. In a 2011 Newsweek cover story, Ashley opened up about the challenges they faced before launching The Row in 2007. "With the retailers, we dealt with some tough cookies," she admitted. "Their attitude was, 'Who do these girls think they are?'"

    "It definitely took time to earn people's respect," added Mary-Kate.

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    According to Ashley, "We really want The Row to be an American luxury brand. We believe in not just American by representation, but American by make."

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