From humble beginnings to becoming a global lifestyle brand

With 70 years of design excellence, Laura Ashley is one of the world's best-loved home and lifestyle brands. Its journey can be traced back to 1953 when Laura and Bernard Ashley began hand-printing fabric at their kitchen table in their tiny flat in Pimlico after being inspired by a Women's Institute exhibition at the V&A museum.

Founded on a rich design heritage and on traditional values of quality and originality, the Laura Ashley brand has been nurtured to become synonymous with beauty and design. Our style is constantly evolving to remain distinctive and inspirational, evoking the alluring beauty of the British countryside and a timeless mood of peace and serenity. Discover the story of how Laura Ashley came to be...


The story begins when Laura and Bernard Ashley begin printing textiles on their kitchen table in London. After investing £10 in wood for a screen, fabric and dyes, together the couple printed distinctive designs using techniques learnt from library books.


Ashley Mountney Ltd is formed. Bernard develops his first continuous printing machine aiming to sell fabrics by the yard. The first Laura Ashley tea towels are produced.


Old Burlington Street showroom opens with 200 accounts. The entire tea towel collection is ordered by a company in San Francisco.


The Ashley’s move their business to Kent. Due to the success of the gardening apron, an overall is produced and sells in the thousands. Export begins to Europe, the US and Australia.


23 Pelham Street in London opens. An initially disappointing turnover sparks Bernard to place an advert on the tube featuring their youngest daughter, Emma. Footfall increased significantly within two days.


Jane Ashley is appointed company photographer aged 18 - her photography becomes synonymous with the brand image.


The famous bramble logo is created. The Laura Ashley Paris shop opens its doors.


Laura Ashley Ltd is awarded The Queen’s Award for Export Achievement. The 25th anniversary of the company is celebrated with a Silver Jubilee ball.


The first catalogue, The Decorator Collection of Home Furnishings, is introduced. The catalogue is 72 pages long and printed in four languages - English, French, German and Dutch. Over 50,000 copies are printed.


Laura Ashley passes away in September. An icon is lost. Laura Ashley Ltd is floated on the Stock Exchange and oversubscribed 34 times.


Diana, Princess of Wales visits Texplan to support the opening of the factory. Her presence is celebrated by the workers and people of Wales.


The Laura Ashley website launches, customers can shop online for the first time. The Laura Ashley archive is established showcasing the rich heritage of the brand and the depth of product history from over the years.


Laura Ashley celebrates 60 years in business with the revival of the much loved Bloomsbury collection.


The Laura Ashley story continues to evolve with a growing family of brand partners who build upon the Laura Ashley lifestyle. Laura Ashley proudly partners with NEXT to reintroduce the home collection online and in stores across the UK in spring 2021.


This year Laura Ashley proudly celebrates 70 years of heritage. Taking a deep dive into the Laura Ashley archive, a 70th Anniversary special edition collection has been created to celebrate this milestone.