Olsenstuff Smaller Than the Hype

It seemed like things were going so well for the Olsens. Mary-Kate’s (lack of) weight was no longer the tabloid staple it had once been, and their fashion enterprises had earned them an improbable level of credibility as designers–in August, a flattering article by Cathy Horyn quoted executives at Bergdorf and Barneys describing their line The Row as “perfect.”

Womens Wear Daily reported today that the twins would be launching a new juniors line for JC Penney: it will be called Olsenboye, “which is the Olsens’ ancestral name.” The line will be promoted using “a new marketing approach for the retailer built around previews, limited offerings and digital, guerrilla and viral marketing tactics.” For the time being, this means a cupcake truck.

Having ventured forth to visit the Olsentruck at its current location in Union Square, I regret to report that the stuff looks bad–sort of what you’d expect from the likes of Whitney Port, not someone Cathy Horyn has called “ruthlessly modern.” There were T-shirts. There were many peace signs. The guerrilla marketers, distributing balloons, appeared to outnumber the customers.

And the cupcakes: so tiny. Olsenstuff Smaller Than the Hype