I will admit I was like everyone else thinking that the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen coffee table book ‘Influence’ was going to be a self worship at the Olsen alter, but I’m glad to say that I too have been pleasantly surprised.
I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be an Olsen twin … they are recognised the world over for not only their individual style (sometimes questionable but who doesn’t have those days, at least ours are not broadcast across the world), as well as for being the billionaire twins who have been created into a brand since they were tiny tots on Full House.
If you think about it, our styles are influenced by those that we see in the public eye, so it goes without saying that the twins have to get their influence from somewhere and this is what their book Influence is all about.Â They share who they admire, idolise, respect and are in awe of.
“The book you are holding in your hands is comprised of conversations my sister and I have had with artists, designers, photographers, writers, and personalities who come from different backgrounds, industries, age groups, and points of view. … It’s my hope each one will remain a constantly evolving conversation that will continue to influence every project that I do – and perhaps by reading, you will be similarly affected by these interviews too.”
Together and separately they interviewed amazing high profile influential designers, actors and artists giving us a glimpse into their private worlds and minds that we would probably never ordinarily get access to.
As you flick through this coffee table book sneaking a glimpse of the surreal life of these revered billionaire twins, you wonder how they manage to stay grounded. The book is like a personal scrapbook project filled with amazing people and moments; it’s like they are hoping they can be taken seriously, that they have depth to their characters and are not just two rich kid wannabes playing in a grown up sand box.
I loved the mix of the interviewees they chose such as these very high profiles; Diane von Furstenburg, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Louboutin, Lauren Hutton and John Galliano and lower profile people but are revered in their own world such as Alexandre De Betak and David Collins. I particularly loved the chapter on Lauren Hutton – and it was interesting to read that the twins hadn’t met her until they interviewed her for their book and that they had obsessedÂ over her style for years (just like us and our own personal obsessions).Â They even went on to have LaurenÂ model for their high end fashion line The Row’s Spring 2008 Look Book.
The interviews themselves are lengthy and revealing, lots of photos featuring many items from Mary-Kate and Ashley’s personal wardrobes, and memorable quotes like this one fromÂ John Galliano.
Karl Lagerfeld would probably have to be the most famous fashion designer in the world wouldn’t you say?Â And they would have to be the most famous twins in the world, so they are a match made in heaven.Â Apparently in Japan, Lagerfeld’s personal appearances have been known to incite riots – wow!Â He shows a minimum of 10 collections per year, that’s nearly one a month! And for the twins, Chanel is their first high-fashion memory.Â They met with him in his Chanel studio on the Rue Cambon … high above the apartment of Coco Chanel … they considered it climbing up to couture heaven.
Their lives are just so amazing and every day must be so different from the last even though they themselves are identical.Â I find them so mesmerising to look at, trying to imagine what it would be like to walk in their shoes for just one day.Â I can’t imagine it.
They are renowned for their sunglasses …
Mary-Kate concludes the book with the insightful thoughts of someone much older than her years of encouraging people to live life in the moment; being present is imperative to not overlook the opportunities that lie in front of you and the inspiration that could potentially be the catalyst of a new adventure.Â As John Galliano declared “you only get a short life, so take chances.”Â She considers this book as a testament to the endless opportunities and open doors that await them.
Want more?Â You can listen to an interview with them at Amazon.
And you can read this awesome interview with Mary-Kate that Interview Magazine did … Space Olsenessey 2009?
What would a scrapbook of your life look like and who would you interview as those that influenced you?