Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen want their new Elizabeth and James handbag line to be "affordable".

The design duo's contemporary collection has expanded to feature bags and the twins think their unique selling point will be providing designer arm candy with half the price tag.

Ashley told WWD: "We've always wanted to do handbags, but we really wanted to understand the market first and what was missing from the market and what's already existing on the market."

Mary-Kate chimed in: "We wanted the price point to be strong. The price point is below [Alexander] Wang and [Phillip] Lim but above Marc [Jacobs] and Tory [Burch]."

Ashley added: "And Rebecca Minkoff. We wanted these bags to be affordable."

The 26-year-old style icons' extensive new bag range will go on sale in July and includes satchels, shoppers, messenger bags, backpacks, cross-body bags, clutches, pouches and wallets.

Prices range from $125 to $395 for small leather items to $395 to $625 for bags - a stark contrast to the pair's couture brand The Row which stocks bags in the $2,000 to $55,000 price range.

Describing the collection, Mary-Kate said: "When it comes down to it our eye definitely goes to simplicity... and strong hardware and branding. In this market, I think it's important to offer color and special materials. The great thing about suede and haircalf is they take colour so beautifully."

Ashley explained that while there are "pops of colour", the palette is in keeping with the twins' favourite neutral and "wearable" colours.

The twins have big plans for Elizabeth and James and intend to open retail stores within two years in New York, Los Angeles and South Florida in the hopes of expanding to Tokyo, Seoul and London in the future.