The Olsens were the "it" twins back in the day. (These days that title belongs to Beyoncé's unborn tots.) In their heyday, Mary-Kate and Ashley, now 30, were catapulted to phenom status thanks to their shared role of Michelle Tanner on Full House and quickly became a joint Hollywood empire with TV, movies, and tween clothing lines at their feet.
And then somewhere along the way that all changed. They headed off to college and retreated from red carpets and the limelight to focus on their fashion businesses, The Row and Elizabeth and James. These days their lives are really focused on those brands, as well as their personal lives.
“I think we’re lucky [working hard] comes quite naturally for us. We don’t need so much time to sit and think and ponder. But then I have a husband, two step-kids and a life; I have to go home and cook dinner," Mary-Kate, who is married to 47-year-old French banker Olivier Sarkozy, explained to The Edit. "I ride horses on the weekends. You find the thing that helps you relax and if you don’t have it, you have to look for it. Or you get burned out and then you’re not productive.”
Her sister, Ashley, has also found love with 58-year-old financier and art collector Richard Sachs and notes that it's taken a lot of work for her to learn how to unwind. “I’ve always been a worker. It has taken me a lot to figure out how to take a vacation," she told the publication.
The Olsens now.
The Olsens then.
And despite remaining stoutly in the conversation all these years later, the duo have found a great way to keep their private life private. In fact, they made headlines when they finally posed for a selfie back in April 2016. Ashley explained, "We don’t dive into that world [of social media]; we don’t have Instagram or Facebook. So we’ve never been connected to our customers or our fans in that way. We’ve stayed quite sheltered.”
Speaking about their life out of the public eye, their former longtime publicist, Michael Pagnotta, told PEOPLE, “They came to New York and wanted to go to college. They’d been kind of hamster-wheeling their lives, and through the first year of college, when they got to NYU, they actually met people who had a different take on the world," he said. "They maybe got a different sense of what their future might be. And maybe it wouldn’t necessarily be in acting.”
Michael also credits the twin's family, which includes actress Elizabeth Olsen (clip above), for giving them a strong foundation. “They were always part of a very loving family that was aware they were kids and needed to have a real life. The most important thing people should know about them was they were allowed to be kids. They had the normal kind of concerns, the normal kinds of fears, and the same kind of fun," he said noting that “despite their fame and wealth, they are normal girls for their age.”