Behind This Beloved British Brand With South Carolina Influence


Pink-floral Laura Ashley wallpaper behind a cream wing-backed armchair in front of a coffee table

Long before there were so-called “lifestyle brands,” there was Laura Ashley, the British heritage company so named for its eponymous founder in 1953. Most folks recognize the delicate florals and Victorian-inspired flourishes core to the brand’s iconic style, yet few are aware its North American headquarters has called Fort Mill, South Carolina, home since 2000.

In fact, Laura Ashley’s recent resurgence in popularity is thanks in large part to licensed collections (Même Chose, The Tile Shop and Graham & Brown among them) that emerged out of this Charlotte suburb. The fact of that influence may come as little surprise to Carolinians. “British and Southern American styles share a similar aesthetic,” Laura Ashley global president Carolyn D’Angelo notes. “Both are full of character and emphasize timeless luxury mixed with romantic charm.”

Latest to release from Laura Ashley’s Southern hub are signature paints—the brand’s first since 1998—in soft historical hues. Factor in recent fashion fanfare, and Laura Ashley’s 70th year seems poised to be its very best yet.