Laura and Bernard Ashley established their printing fabric in 1953, on their house in London. Trying to create unique fabrics, they learned themselves how to print patterns in linens with a screen. After gaining confidence and experience, they began offering headscarves, tea towels, and placemats. In 1958, after five successful years of operation, they opened a showroom to display their varied home-made collections.
In 1960, the Ashleys ventured into the world of fashion, designing and creating their first clothesline. 10 years later, in 1970, the brand started opening stores throughout the UK, and their success was such, that by 1974 their products were available for sale in different countries. In 1975 Laura Ashley introduced a line of perfume and received in 1977 the Queen's Award for Export when it reached its £25 million mark in revenue. In 1981 the brand shifted from fashion to home furnishings, creating their first catalog oriented towards the interior design market.
In May 1998, MUI Asia Limited became a major shareholder in Laura Ashley and pioneered in offering designer collections in carpets, curtains, paint, tiles, towels, and wallpaper, with new stores and showrooms available in Asia, Australia, and South America.
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