Laura Ashley’s return to style


Laura Ashley, well-known for its female aesthetic and floral prints, is relaunching womenswear this month after years specializing in homeware. Carolyn D’Angelo, president of Laura Ashley International and senior managing director at its proprietor Gordon Brothers, discusses the model’s return to style.

This can be a large yr for Laura Ashley – the model is relaunching style in April. It’s the primary time since Gordon Brothers acquired the model in 2021 [after Laura Ashley went into administration in 2020] that it’s releasing its personal style line.

When Gordon Brothers evaluates companies for its portfolio [the US investment firm owns a range of businesses, including New York-based premium womenswear brand Nicole Miller] we search for manufacturers which have an emotional reference to the buyer; an consciousness stage that already exists. Heritage manufacturers have enduring enchantment, and with greater than 70 years of historical past, Laura Ashley checked these containers.

We all know how vital Laura Ashley style is to our loyal followers [so far under its new ownership Laura Ashley has focused on homeware, as well as launching a handful of fashion collaborations with New York-based womenswear label Batsheva, US contemporary brand Rag & Bone, Manchester-based womenswear brand Joanie Clothing, and baby products with Mamas & Papas] – for a lot of shoppers, style is the a part of the model that evokes essentially the most emotion.

“Laura Ashley’s wealthy archive performed a basic function within the design growth.”

With this significance of style for the Laura Ashley model, figuring out the best companion to launch with was essential to success. Once we relaunched Laura Ashley [home and lifestyle products] again in 2021 with Subsequent, we have been in a position to step past brick and mortar and undertake a hybrid offline and on-line operation, permitting us to achieve extra prospects. Strategically, it made sense to strategy womenswear on this manner, working with our key retail companion to introduce our product in retailer and on-line [the womenswear range will be available on lauraashley.com, a website operated by Next, and will be available on Next.co.uk and in select stores]. As one of many largest style retailers within the UK, it offers a robust platform to increase our model attain and interact new prospects with our style line.

As soon as we’d engaged Subsequent to assist the relaunch of womenswear, the design course of started. Laura Ashley’s wealthy archive performed a basic function within the design growth. With greater than 100,000 belongings within the archive, we’re fortunate to have an intensive library of prints and patterns from the model’s 70-year historical past to attract on. The woodblock prints from the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties fashioned the muse of the design course of, with basic prints such because the [blue, green and ivory floral print] Linaria, [burgundy and cream floral print] Wild Cherry and [black and gold medieval-inspired print] Camelot shaping the completed designs. Most of the key shapes are influenced by much-loved archive items, with a technician measuring every costume to make sure the brand new items mirrored the enduring suits.

Retail costs vary from £32 for a blouson sleeve shirt to £85 for a tiered maxi costume, which is a direct duplicate of 1 within the archive, and in addition to blouses and attire the gathering options skirts, trousers, shorts and shirts.

“Now we have created a spread that may be a good mixture of classic and fashionable.”

The archive additionally offers some extent of distinction that helps us stand out in an extremely aggressive [womenswear] market – which is a problem when relaunching a model proper now. We all know we should strike a steadiness with the gathering – sustaining the classic Laura Ashley really feel that’s so synonymous with the model, whereas additionally making certain a contemporary take that resonates with up to date buyers. So, now we have created a spread that may be a good mixture of classic and fashionable [contemporary blouses, jeans and trousers, for example, as well as dresses in vintage silhouettes].

Moreover, our enterprise mannequin permits us to sidestep key challenges that face many style companies with a brick-and-mortar footprint [such as business rates and overhead costs]. Gordon Brothers makes use of licensing because the technique to deliver product to the tip shopper. We companion with specialists in every product class, and work instantly with their inventive groups to develop product that matches their aesthetic.  Moreover creating up to date new product, Gordon Brothers additionally focuses on conserving Laura Ashley high of thoughts with advertising and marketing efforts together with social media, press and consumer-facing occasions.  We additionally actively work with our companions on alternatives for brand new merchandise and new distribution factors.

Now we have a wonderful working relationship with Subsequent and stay up for persevering with to work collectively as we construct our line. We’re delighted to deliver this much-anticipated womenswear assortment to our loyal prospects, who’ve reacted so positivity to the relaunched residence assortment, and now she will be able to additionally costume in her favorite Laura Ashley kinds.

 

 

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