The CFDA-nominated actors-turned-designers Mark-Kate and Ashley Olsen could easily retire with their billion-dollar empire and the four fashion labels they're now running, from The Row on the luxe end to mid-range Elizabeth and James and Olsenboye for jcpenney.
Their latest fashion venture is a pure digital play: StyleMint.com, an e-commerce, personalized shopping venture that's subscription-based ($29.99 monthly) and designed to lure fans of their brands and personal style with a launch collection of eight t-shirts not available anywhere else.
It doesn't go live until July, so the website is deliberately obtuse: cloaked in black, giving off an air of exclusivity, and commanding with all the imperiousness of Anna Wintour: “Membership is limited. Get on the list now.”
The site, a partnership between the Olsens and BeachMint, owned by Myspace cofounder Josh Berman, recalls the book-of-the-month model, only with customized shopping technology to give members the experience of a personal stylist. Members receive personalized selections from each collection matched to their Style Profile along with trend reports and videos, showing customers how to wear and pair pieces.
The twins will also create regular videos for the site to give their fans style tips and fashion advice.
"Online commerce is the perfect medium for us to create a new brand that is as much about the clothing as it is about the customer experience," stated Ashley Olsen in a press release. "BeachMint is the ideal partner as they share our vision for the brand and have the resources and talent to execute it."
"BeachMint understands how online shopping is evolving and the importance of creating an authentic relationship between designer and customer. With StyleMint.com, Ashley and I have created an online experience reflecting our love of style and allowing us to engage with our customers directly, which is an inspiring new way for us to think and create as designers," added Mary-Kate Olsen.
"We are ecstatic about our partnership with Ashley and Mary-Kate. They are true fashion visionaries and we are thrilled to bring their unique apparel concept and signature style online. Our experience in social commerce and marketing, combined with Ashley and Mary-Kate's creative vision, will create an unprecedented online shopping experience," commented BeachMint CEO, Josh Berman.
BeachMint, interestingly, launched its first brand, JewelMint.com, with Kate Bosworth in October 2010, and plans to launch two more sites in 2011 in various consumer product verticals.
Dualstar Entertainment Group, founded in 1993 by the sisters, bills itself as "a distinctive boutique global brand management company renowned for developing lifestyle labels fulfilling market niches on the fashion spectrum including The Row, Elizabeth and James, TEXTILE Elizabeth and James and Olsenboye."
Watch for updates on StyleMint's Facebook page.