It’s not too difficult to link the feeling of nostalgia with Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen—but perhaps it’s not for the reasons we’d assume. Instead, it’s nostalgia that’s been a huge inspiration for the luxury designers over the past 10 years since they launched Elizabeth and James. It ties closely into the design and curation of their very first brick-and-mortar location, and it’s found in the notes of their perfumes. And today marks the latest product arrival with a huge sentimental appeal.
The 200 Series collection is the first-ever watch design from Elizabeth and James. “It took nearly two years of development,” Ashley tells us over email. “We researched the market and knew we wanted to take a different approach from both a design, functionality, and distribution perspective.”
While the design is certainly different with its rubber strap and sleek mineral crystal face, it’s not entirely new, per se. “We wanted to incorporate this technology that is virtually unchanged since its introduction in the ’70s. We worked with an amazing designer that shared the same vision and passion for the digital function,” says Mary-Kate about the vision behind this new product category.
Elizabeth and James
With this futuristic—Jetson-esque even—inspiration in mind, the 200 Series harks back to the digital watches you might have once only seen in your childhood. The $200 design comes in a range of hues, including silver, gunmetal, sky, chartreuse, and royal, and uses LED lights to cleanly flash the time and date on your wrist.
“Simplicity was a design goal to match the simple functionality,” as Mary-Kate tells us. And in true modern-day function, when the watch’s lights are off, the face can double as an emergency, on-the-go mirror. As Ashley sees it, “The 200 Series watch is for the woman who is confident and wants something that is simple and unique. She has nostalgia for digital watches in the same way that Mary-Kate and I do.”
However, going digital is a theme that the designers are running with. Not only are Ashley and Mary-Kate expanding their products, but today marks the official launch of the Elizabeth and James e-shop. “The launch of e-commerce came naturally,” says Mary-Kate. “Launching this capsule e-commerce platform is the next step in evolving the brand experience and connecting with our customer,” adds Ashley. “We’re excited to see the response and roll out additional categories online next year."
Scroll down to check out the latest retro-modern design by Elizabeth and James, and shop on its brand new e-commerce site for the very first time.