By 1984 the company that had begun in a London kitchen, was bringing in $ 50 million a year in it's 54 US shops alone. Her lady-like revivals of classic clothing and old-fashioned furnishings, really appealed to Americans.
When Laura Ashley died in an accident in 1985, the Company continued. In 1996, a 20 year contract was signed with Cosmetics giant L'Oreal to produce perfumes, toiletry and cosmetic products under the Laura Ashley name. However after only 6 years, the company sued L'Oreal in 2002 for 18 million pounds, as they had not developed the true nature of the Ashley brands. Three different designers were appointed to take over, and then in 1995 Ann Iverson took over. She succeeded in turning a 31 million pound loss into a 10 million pound profit. Laura Ashley's children are now running the concern, and the closely-knit family firm has become phenomenally successful. Her daughter Emma was encouraged by Laura's husband Sir Bernard Ashley to carry on the house. She designed her first dress when she was only 14. She has introduced a new line for the house called Elanbach after Laura Ashley's home in Wales. Several designers have come and gone at the house. Alistair Blair, trained at Dior and Givenchy left in 2004 He was followed by Ainum Mohd-Saad, who said she was stepping down for personal reasons early in 2005.
In the U.S. in 2005 and 2006 the "Laura Ashley" label is found applied to inexpensive items that lack the "look," sold in department stores such as Sears and Kohl's, further diluting the value of the brand. The home furnishing items are slightly better, continuing to use some of the classic Laura Ashley textile designs.
Ms Lillian Tan, who has been chief executive since January, plans to reduce fashion from 22 per cent of sales to 14 per cent this year - with stores cutting back the space they give to clothes in favour of home furnishings, now the most profitable part of the business.
In early 2008 Laura Ashley launched a mattress line with Comfort Solutions. The Comfort solution brand is part of King Koil. A top five Mattress company that has produced high quality product for over 110 years. The mix of Laura Ashley and Comfort Solutions has brought a high range of style to the world of bland eggshell white, all too common in the mattress world.
During the 60's, she created voluminous dresses with Patch pockets and toward the end of that decade, ankle length printed cotton dresses. In the early 70's, some of her best-known designs appeared, including Edwardian style dresses, many with high frilly collars and leg of mutton sleeves or scoop necks and short puff sleeves. Most of her fabrics were printed with simple floral motifs based on 18th and 19th century patterns, tiny geometric prints, flowers, trailing sprigs and fine spots and strips. Until the early 1980's the company designed and manufactured garments in cotton only, but later collections included clothes in cotton mixtures and jersey fabrics.