Laura Ashley Biography
(Founder of 'Laura Ashley' Brand)
Birthday: September 7, 1925 (Virgo)
Born In: Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil,, Wales
Laura Ashley was a Welsh fashion designer and businesswoman. She came from a humble background of rural Wales, growing up in a service class and religious family. Ashley’s interest in designing was inculcated in her by her grandmother and it was in London when she was working as a secretary for the National Federation of Women’s Institutes that she started designing tablemats, headscarves, tea cozies, etc. as a part-time job. But her particular floral printed Victorian designs on headscarves became very famous and brands like John Lewis started to buy them from her. She expanded her little ‘work from home’ business into a small factory based business by then, which was only possible because of her husband, Bernard Ashley’s operational help. Soon ‘Laura Ashley’ stores and factories were spread across England and Europe and the whole Ashley family was involved in the business. Her phenomenal success in designing the clothes that were meant to suit the style and comfortability of housewives, inspired from the rural aesthetics of Wales, is commendable since at the time when she was getting popular, her designs were directly contesting with the in-vogue male-dominated style of clothing for women in the ‘60s.