UPTOWN GIRLS: The Row’s tony, sophisticated aesthetic resonates beautifully with the 10021 set, and soon those ladies will be able to shop their zip code. Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen have signed a lease on a 1910 townhouse at 17 East 71st Street, where they expect to open a New York flagship by the end of the year. “We have had our eye on this property for the past two years,” said Ashley.
The choice of a townhouse suggests that the designers may be shaping a retail identity based on localized architecture and an at-home approach to decor. Last May they opened their first store, on Melrose Place in Los Angeles, a shiny capsule of midcentury cool built around a courtyard and pool visible through glass doors. At the time, Mary-Kate said it was a toss-up whether to open in Los Angeles or New York, and when the West Coast space became available, “we jumped on it.”
In altering the L.A. space, Ashley said, “we left the bones. We like to enhance what’s already existed so the integrity of it is still very on par.” Two galleries were furnished as living and dining rooms. “It was about setting it up as a home and just having the apparel be a part of the space,” she said.
The Olsens are no strangers to showing their wares within a townhouse setting. They showed their fall 2013 collection in an airy Upper East Side beauty aglow with Edwardian elegance. Their modern-classic clothes looked right at home.