Having been one of the first company casualties of the pandemic, iconic British brand Laura Ashley is back in business thanks to a partnership with Next.
Following the announcement in mid-March that the brand had filed for administration, the 67-year-old company has since been bought by investment firm Gordon Brothers, who negotiated a deal with high street giant Next.
Launching early next year, Laura Ashley products will be available in selected Next stores across the UK and worldwide via both LauraAshley.com and Next.co.uk.
Poppy Marshall-Lawton, Head of Brand & Partnerships at Laura Ashley says: 'Finding the right brand partner to relaunch Laura Ashley was incredibly important to us. We were delighted with all the opportunities presented and felt partnering with such a dynamic and British retailer such as Next was the perfect progression.'
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Laura Ashley - an iconic British brand
Founded in 1954 by Laura and Bernard Ashley, the couple produced tablemats, napkins and headscarves from their Pimlico flat at first, with Laura hand-printing the fabric in their kitchen, while Bernard managed the business.
While the brand continued a steady trade in the following years - in part helped by Audrey Hepburn wearing a headscarf in the movie Roman Holiday - it wasn't until the late 1960s that the company really took off with enormous demand for the brand's dresses, decorated in their trademark floral prints, pretty bows and puffball sleeves.
The 1980s lead the company back to producing homeware, with their trademark floral prints and motifs reimagined on wallpaper and fabric, as well as soft furnishings.
While the company's rich heritage, instantly recognizable mix of pattern and English rose elegance had been struggling in recent years, the popularity of both the Arts and Crafts look and the Cottagecore trend on social media have been instrumental in the brand's resurgence.
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Launching in Spring 2021, the first products available will range from wallpaper and paint, to soft home furnishings, including throws, cushions and pillows. Lighting and cabinetry will follow soon after.
Poppy Marshall-Lawton sums up the partnership by saying: 'Laura Ashley herself was always inspired by the past but excited about the future, so getting the chance to reinvigorate the brand is a perfect new chapter in our already fabulous story.'