Ashley Olsen Could Be Your Next Professor of Handbag Design

Do you dream of designing but realize that shoes and bags have all the fun and dresses and pants and shirts are kinda whatever? (JK… kinda). If so, College for Creative Studies (CCS), in Detroit, in partnership with Shinola, also of Detroit, has the program for you. Like, for real, if I were at all artistically inclined, I would apply now.

Beginning in fall 2015, the college of art and design will offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program in Fashion Accessories Design. It’s rarer than you think; though there are many excellent design programs, not many focus on accessories.

It’s silly, really: accessories represent a major global industry segment ($51 billion annually in the US alone) that is currently underserved academically.

If you’re old, don’t worry, this just means to ready yourself for an impressive and growing new batch of offerings from the future graduates: handbags, leather goods, accessories hardware, and footwear.

“Shinola is committed to the design, development and manufacturing of leather goods at scale inthe US and is proud to partner with CCS to offer the first Fashion Accessories Design program in the Midwest,” said Tom Kartsotis of Shinola.

Shinola will provide scholarships to ensure that the most talented students can attend this program as the incoming class, and provide opportunities for first-hand industry experience and guidance to all students in the program. The program will provide a thorough education ranging from education in design, technology, and research to prepare graduates to final product manufacturing and distribution. They also seek to teach crucial topics like trends forecasting and market research.

As any good fashion incubator should, the program will be supported and advised by the CFDA. In addition, the Fashion Accessories Design program is supported by an Advisory Council that represents a broadcross-section of industry professionals.

The Advisory Council is pretty damn impressive:

  • Francesca Amfitheatrof, Tiffany & Co.
  • Lauren Bush Lauren, Feed Projects and Lauren Pierce Atelier
  • Linda Dresner, LINDA DRESNER
  • Catherine Forbes, The Forbes Company / Somerset Collection
  • Jen Guarino, Shinola
  • Heather Joyce-Velez,
  • Tom Kartsotis, Shinola
  • Ashley Olsen, Dualstar Entertainment Group

For more information, check this outttt. P.S. If ever you have a class taught by Ashley Olsen, please call me.

5 Trends That Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen Stole From Their Childhood

Happy birthday, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen! In honor of the twin moguls’ 26th birthday (can you believe they’re almost 30?), it’s time to look back at their most memorable fashion moments. But this isn’t your average style timeline; rather than survey single ensembles, I’ve rounded up five MKA kid looks and paired them with their MKA adult counterparts to prove that their only style muses are themselves. From Lennon tinted sunglasses (above) to public pajamas to Blossom-worthy flower hats, behold the Olsen twins: then and now. 

Public Pajamas


If you Google "Olsens baby photo," the image to the left is one of the first results you’ll find. There’s something about those matching PJs, barettes, and white Reebok kicks that the world just fell head over heels for, which allowed the duo to explore beyond their shared role as Michelle Tanner in Full House and become the mini moguls that they are today. The image to the right is from Vogue, and perhaps a salute to their public pajama roots. 

Flower Hats


Ah, the ’90s. In the age of Blossom and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, a hat with a flowers (preferably in the center) was a TV star’s style requisite. MKA sported this trend proudly, complete with identical ensembles to up the adorable factor. The Olsens may not wear matching clothing today, but they still share a similar flair for floppy hats. 

Breton Stripes


MKA was rocking the mariner vibe way before "sailor chic" was a thing. Here they are in, yet again, matching looks with statement hats. Today, sadly, the Olsens prefer a more subtle approach to stripes.

Halloween Costumes


If we’ve learned anything from MKA’s style evolution, it’s that these girls know how to play dress-up. I nearly died when they donned Batman and Catwoman masks in their StyleMint Halloween promo last year. Fingers crossed that this year they revive some of their elaborate costumes from those amazing musical mystery videos, The Adventures of Mary-Kate and Ashley.

Photos: Vogue, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed, Olsen Anonymous

The Stones Concert at Barclays: My Conversation With Mick Jagger

On Saturday night, while the rest of the world thought what they were doing was important, I found myself in the perfect place…in the perfect situation. The Rolling Stones brought their 50th anniversary tour to the brilliant Barclays Center. As the show ended, I posted this on Facebook.

 "The Mayans can be completely right and it will be alright as I have just seen the Rolling Stones, the greatest rock band ever. I can go quietly into the night ,as this night, I got what I want and what I needed… absolutely religious." 

A friend close to the action Saturday night told me that Martin Scorsese and Naomi Campbell and Mary K. and Ashley Olsen and a ton of others were in the house. He’s a backstage kind of guy who told me how cool they always are. I’ve met them from time to time, save for Ronnie who would have been the easiest when he had his joint down in South Beach. They were always accessible, human. Watching them on the giant stage shaped like their trademark lips and tongue, it was hard to believe they could be anything but out-of-reach rock stars. As a 10-year-old in Connecticut, we heard the Stones on a car radio. My hot cousin’s boyfriends would take us on Slim Jim and Birch Beer runs in speedsters on curvy roads.We promised not to tell. We waited to hear the Stones on the car radio. I told Mick this story one night in a club I had a lifetime ago. Around 1988. He was coming by regularly. As I sat in the back office, I couldn’t grasp that this was the prancing icon. He listened intently as I told this tale.

"It was the fall of 1964 and the Lewis clan was huddled in our country home in Connecticut. We had a party line telephone. Two rings was us, one the neighbor. We had two channels on the T.V., you know, one of those giant pieces of furniture with a small screen. For us, it was the window to the world. The days were spent fishing and exploring the deep woods. At night we were glued to the magic. 

On October 25th, 1964 we had a crisis. The Rolling Stones were going to be on Ed Sullivan, on one channel while the other channel offered the Lawrence Welk Show. My grandparents never missed the Lawrence Welk Show with its polkas and show tunes. My cousin Ron and my brother Paul plotted all week to see the Stones. We were always tasked to give the old-folk warm milk after the show so they would go to sleep easily. We decided to come in early and strong and give them so many glasses of warm milk that they would pass out, we could switch channels, and see our gods. It worked. Right before the show, after multiple milks, they passed out.

We switched and saw the Stones for the first time. There was no internet then and few magazines would have their image. There were no posters up in our neck of the woods. We didn’t know what to expect. There they were, brash and horribly wonderful. We were in awe, stirred to life maybe for the very first time.

In the middle of their first track, the Chuck Berry cover "Around & Around," my Grandparents woke up and started to mildly complain. They pointed out that the Stones hairdos made them look like girls and they couldn’t understand the words… but they let us watch."

While telling Jagger this story, he interjected: "So let me get this straight…you drugged your grandparents to watch me on the television." I said "yes." He then added: "You realize they knew." I didn’t understand. He continued: "You realize they were in on your plot and went along with it because it was important to you." 

We had never realized that but it was obvious he was right, and I felt the love my grandparents who were long gone held for us once again. I got goosebumps, and Mick told me he loved the story. 

The Stones woke me in every way. They were outside the box that I have always avoided, sometimes successfully. That Ed Sullivan Show was 48 years ago. As I stood in the Barclays seeing them at their 50th anniversary show, I realized how my life has coincided with their carreer. I had seen them 10 or more times over the decades. Threw a party for Bill Wyman, met Keith at Life when he played a Christmas show with Ronnie Spector and Mick a few other times, and now it seemed like this would be the last time.

There was a seriousness about the concert, as if this would be the end of the run. Mick ran around a lot less than back in the day. Shoot, me and almost the entire crowd runs around a lot less. It was surreal seeing him doing it well at 69. The anthems had an almost religious feeling… providing a calm reflection of the thread that was fraying.

The show ended and I bought bags of t-Shirts and scooted over to Hotel Chantelle to give them to my girl. I had attended the show with my brother, a birthday gift to my co-conspirator back in ’64. They’ve got two shows coming at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. Tickets are stoooopid expensive. I’m gonna have to go. The second song the Rolling Stones performed on Ed  Sullivan in that dream of a night so long ago was "Time Is On Our Side." That was true then, but not anymore. I’m gonna hock the watch and see them again.

Mia Moretti Takes a Glimpse of New York From the Inside

New York is my city, and although I travel like a mad woman all year round stomping down at music festivals, film festivals, and fashion weeks across the globe, there really is no place like home. Fashion week can feel like a whirlwind of bloggers, bustiers, models, mockeries, designers, DJs, editors, evolutionists, photographers, and phonies coming at you harder than a tornado, but when you claim New York City as your stomping ground, that’s all par for the course. Bring it on, I say. There is no better place in the world, and to prove it, I called up one of my favorite gal pals (and talented photographer) Diggy Lloyd to hit the streets with me and bring you a little taste of this beautiful, crazy city. 

Caitlin Moe and me arriving for sound check at Prabal Gurung’s carnival

DJing the carnival on top of a truck


Backstage prepping in my trailer

My goodluck duck from set of VH1 Master of the Mix show I just wrapped filming. 

The girls with Renzo backstage at Diesel Black Gold! (Talli Lennox, Caitlin Moe, Oh Land and me)

Oh Land going in for a punch! 


Glamour outside the Jeremy Scott show at Milk

A$AP Rocky arriving at Jeremy Scott

Terry Richardson at Jeremy Scott

Lindsey Wixson closing Jeremy Scott

Pit Stop at La Grainne Cafe

Honor show at Eyebeam


On the way to Elizabeth & James presentation

Gorgeous texture and color at Elizabeth & James

Ashley Olsen at the presentation for her and Mary-Kate’s line, Elizabeth & James

New York, you gorgeous city

Morning Links: Kanye Kicks Off G.O.O.D. Friday, Judy Dench Wraps ‘Bond’ Career

● DJ Funkmaster Flex got Good Friday started a little early, spinning "Mercy," the first single off the Kanye and company’s G.O.O.D. Music compilation, on his show last night. Swerve, swerve, swerve… [RapRadar]

● The makers of Theraflu would like to remind you that they "in no way" want to be a part of Kanye’s double-cupped up "Theraflu." [NME]

● Looks like Mary Kate and Ashley weren’t fans of Harvard MBA recipient Tyra Banks’ "fantasy novel" Modelland. [Gawker]

● Justin Timberlake dangerously designed Jessica Biel’s engagement ring without the help of Biel’s stylist and, while Biel won’t say she doesn’t like it, everyone seems to know it’s not her style. Boys! [Us]

● Looks like Skyfall will be Dame Judy Dench’s last 007 movie as Bond’s other girl, M. [TheSun]

● Austin’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema chain — where can have food and beverage delivered straight to their movie seat — has a Manhattan outpost in the works. [ArtsBeat]

Morning Links: Shaq Retires, Lauren Conrad Thinks She’s Bad at Reality TV

● After 19 years, Shaq announced he’s stepping down from pro basketball yesterday via a twitvid. He already seems to be enjoying retirement. [Twitter/Shaq] ● Lady Gaga agrees that her album, in digital form, was only worth the 99 cents Amazon was selling it for. “It’s invisible. it’s in space. If anything, I applaud a company like Amazon for equating the value of digital versus the physical copy,” she told WSJ. [WSJ] ● Justin Timberlake and Ashely Olsen have been spotted together at afterparties, art shows, and even a polo match. It must be love. [NYDN]

● Derek Cianfrance’s (of Blue Valentine fame) next project, a crime drama called Place Beyond the Pines, is coming together, with both Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling signed on to star. Sounds so dreamy. [Variety] ● Lauren Conrad seems to think she’s better off without a reality show. “It’s easier to launch the [fashion] line,” she says. And anyways, she wasn’t very good at it: “there weren’t any scenes of me getting drunk or fighting, so what’s the point?” [Page Six] ● Justin Bieber is happy to show you his slam dunk, so long as the basketball hoop is child-sized. [Celebuzz]

Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen’s Latest Vision: Optical Eyewear

With a 2011 CFDA Award nomination under their two-for-one belt, it’s safe to say that the Olsen twins have established themselves as respected fashion designers. While we’re big fans of their luxury line, the Row, we’re particularly fond of their more contemporary – and more affordable – everyday line, Elizabeth and James. That’s why, in light of their successful sunglasses collection, we’re super-excited to hear that MKA is launching optical eyewear frames under that lower-priced label.

Specs come in a range of retro styles, like the above frames, called The Pearl, and are all priced under $300. See more styles here.

We all know that these girls tend to think big, so we can’t wait to see what else the designing duo has up their exceptionally chic sleeves.

Morning Links: Rachel Zoe Is In Labor, ‘Mad Men’ Return Delayed

● Did Rachel Zoe have her baby? Reports late last night suggested that the super-stylist had checked into Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles in labor, and her uncharacteristically quiet Twitter seemed to hint that something was up. If that was all last night, is it now safe to say she’s lost the baby weight too, right?[Too Fab] ● But really, it’s fine: Gwyneth Paltrow just likes to sing. [EW] ● You already hate her, but now you can really hate hate: Paris Hilton is racist. Neil Strauss quotes her in his new book, Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead, as saying, “I can’t stand black guys. I would never touch one.” Why? “It’s gross.” [LAWeekly]

● Remember what life was like before you had to compare every man to Don Draper? You might want to star trying, because it looks like it’s going to be a while before Mad Men returns. [NYT] ● When Carey Mulligan had nothing to wear to her Great Gatsby audition, Ashley Olsen came to her rescue, sending her boxes of 30s vintage dresses from her collection. How’s that for friendship?[Vogue] ● All that will ever become of Lauren Conrad’s never-picked-up new show is this twee-as-anything intro. Cute bow! [Angela and Ithyle]

The Olsens Discuss The Row & Their Roots in ‘Vogue’

There’s a lot to love about the April issue of Vogue. First, we have the long-awaited cover story of flame-haired Rihanna, shot by Annie Leibovitz. There’s also a heartfelt and quite candid editor’s letter penned by Anna Wintour, dedicated to Grace Coddington in honor of the creative director’s 70th birthday. “Grace is always thinking about the human being at the core of the photograph,” Wintour writes. Perhaps our favorite feature of this issue is the fresh profile on pint-sized moguls and 2011 CFDA Award nominees, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. Here are some choice quotes from the piece.

On their success in the fashion industry sans a design degree: “[The Olsen-managed $1 billion company] Dualstar started when we were six. And we had a collection with Walmart at twelve, which was the upper tier of the tween market. It was before celebrity designers.” – Ashley

On having super twin powers: “Some of our memories are shared. We don’t know what actually happened to whom. One of was stung by a bee, but we can’t remember who, because we both felt it.” – Mary-Kate

On growing out of their child star roots: “I am so proud of what we did. We made kids smile every day. But we had done the most we could.” – Ashley

On ditching LA for NYC: “The press here in New York respect you more. It was the worst in Los Angeles when we got out license. They would follow us. They knew where we lived. And you don’t know who these people are. People just out of jail.” – Ashley

On the perks of being an Olsen’s friend: “I couldn’t believe what they did when I texted in a panic about having nothing to wear for my audition for Gatsby. I was hoping they’ve send me some things from The Row, but then these huge boxes arrived—Ashley’s entire collection of thirties vintage dresses.” – Carey Mulligan

On developing their signature style: “We had our observations about fashion changing, when it went from being so eighties to the slipdress and the dark lip. We’d see students coming back from college in grunge. And then Lori Loughlin [of Full House] had all this great Donna Karan.” – Mary-Kate

On their ambitious future in fashion and beyond: “The thing about us is we think big. Huge.” – Mary-Kate