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Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's evolution narrated in "The Twins"

A documentary that explores cultural obsession with twins, Y2K fashion, and the eternal influence of celebrities

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen's evolution narrated in The Twins A documentary that explores cultural obsession with twins, Y2K fashion, and the eternal influence of celebrities

"Was it Full House? Was it fame? Was it fashion? Was it coffee cups, cigarettes, and sunglasses? Or is it nostalgia? What is it about twins that makes them so mysterious? What is it that draws us in? What is it about them? Are you a Mary-Kate or an Ashley?"

Zara Meerza asks in the trailer for The Twins, the documentary about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen produced by WePresent, WeTransfer's digital arts platform. The Indian-British filmmaker, who has always been a fan of the duo, starts from the public life and success of the two sisters to tell how, with their image as blond, sweet, sunny and reassuring, they influenced a generation's ideal of femininity and beauty, exerting an almost irresistible appeal. The result is described as "an unconventional take on pop culture documentary" that explores Mary-Kate and Ashley's impact on millennial women, pop culture and fashion in the early 2000s, and, more broadly, the cultural fascination with the twins as the ultimate example of female complicity and solidarity.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were born June 13, 1986, and began acting just nine months later, sharing the role of Michelle Tanner on the ABC sitcom Full House. Since then, they have thrived in the spotlight, moving from role to role and stringing together a series of coming-of-age movies that made them wildly popular. By the early 2000s, the media and commercial power of these teenagers was a veritable war machine, generating an estimated net worth of $100 million in 2007, for example, built not only on their artistic performances but on a parallel merchandising market based on their "Sweet Valley High" girl aesthetic. Their story did not stop there, as it has for many other child stars. The Olsens have managed to overturn all preconceptions about celebrity brands by founding The Row, the quintessential coolness and minimalist fashion of which they themselves have become the best brand ambassadors with a closet of basic and super chic essentials made up of luxe flip flops, huge sunglasses, total black looks, pieces with essential cuts and neutral shades.  

Meerza's project, as Holly Fraser, editor-in-chief of WePresent who commissioned the film, points out, leads us to remember the Olsens' history and to understand why, despite their total gold privacy and absence from social media, they continue to exert great appeal:

"As a millennial woman who grew up amidst the fascination and media storm created by the Olsen twins and their brand of perfect girlhood I was immediately drawn to the nostalgia of The Twins, but also intrigued to scratch below the surface and look at that early 00s era of pop culture through a new and critical lens. Zara has created a short film that not only investigates the persisting allure of the Olsens, but also the enduring mystique of twins in culture and how society objectifies and commodifies young women in the spotlight,” said Holly Fraser, the editor-in-chief of WePresent who commissioned the film. “This documentary is a must-watch for anyone who remembers what it was like to grow up at the dawn of the social age, at a time when two pre-teenage girls were the biggest influencers on the planet. The Twins is a perfect example of the type of thought-provoking storytelling that is becoming synonymous with WePresent."