No doubt you know all about the Olsen frenzy at the Union Square Barnes & Noble today, complete with special rules for those hoping to get a minute in front of each twin while they sign their new book, and the requisite PETA protesters outside. But you're probably wanting more, no? So here it is. Just for you, we've scanned Mary-Kate's handwritten Proust questionnaire, and transcribed Ashley's introductory essay - NYLON's got MK's version - after the jump. So don't say we've never done anything for you. Hugs. ps. We really do highly suggest ordering the book for yourselves.
Ashley's Intro Essay, in full: Hard work has never been something someone taught me or something I simply picked up from someone else. Maybe it's a by-product of landing my first job at six months old, but I've never believed that there were boundaries or limits to anything I set my mind to. For the first time in my life, I'm in complete control of my destiny. Like everything you put out there for the universe to see, it all comes back to you. I'm finding out that taking my life to the next level is all about discovery. Being aware of the world around you requires you to pay attention to everyone and everything. But in order to stay grounded, you have to stay true to yourself. Diane von Furstenberg once told me, "You have to be your best friend." I believed that. None of us is in this game alone. With each project I begin, I'm reminded of the importance of listening, of appreciating and taking advantage of all the creative, dynamic, and wonderfully bizarre people in my life. And like any good listener, I know it's my duty to share this wealth of influence with others. Whether it's my family, my friends, a novel I've read a hundred times over, or my favourite painting, I'm really just the sum of many different parts. Ultimately, that's what this book is all about. I've been inspired, surprised, supported, and, yes, influenced by every person I've talked to in this book. Their stories, bodies of work, and lives are like open vaults of creativity for me. Some, like Christian Louboutin, I talk to all the time. I admire him both as a friend and as an artist. Others, like George Condo, I am just beginning to get to know. And then there are people like Lauren Hutton, who can give you a thousand pearls of wisdom with just her smile. Whenever life feels like a dreary place, these individuals know how to make the most out of any situation. I turn to the people on these pages, in one way or another, to keep me afloat. The book you are holding in your hands is comprised of conversations my sister and I have had with artists, designers, photographers, writers, and personalities who come from different backgrounds, industries, age groups, and points of view. Risk takers in their own special way, they share a common belief that the world should never be a boring place. To put it bluntly, they have guts. I don't want the dialogue to stop at the end of each interview. It's my hope each one will remain a constantly evolving conversation that will continue to influence every project that I do-and perhaps by reading, you will be similarly affected by these interviews too. I believe part of the process of figuring yourself out is a way of connecting the dots between the fabulous and influential people around us all, like some sort of hidden constellation-you only have to know where to look. This book is just the start. --Ashley Olsen