This Very Nostalgic Urban Outfitters Collab Is Out of Left Field
This season's sleeper collab might just be the best one yet. Urban Outfitters, where trends are distilled for the masses, is teaming up with Laura Ashley—a brand you’re more likely to remember for its granny florals and home goods. (The name alone might make you think of quilts.) But for anyone who doesn't know what to make of this seemingly odd-couple combination, there's a bit of punk history in those prairie skirts that says otherwise.
In the '70s, The Clash's Mick Jones and Paul Simonon modeled for a Laura Ashley catalog alongside The Slits' Viv Albertine. The photos, taken by Laura Ashley's daughter, Jane, were too off-brand to use at the time, but have resurfaced, and are now displayed proudly on the brand's own blog. That underground edge returned during the '80s and '90s, when grunge-loving thrift store savants found original Laura Ashley blouses and skirts and paired them with leather, denim, and plenty of attitude. And that's the spirit the Urban Outfitters collab hopes to channel.
"We felt strongly that our brand was a good fit with Urban Outfitters," Penne Cairoli, president of Laura Ashley Inc., told InStyle ahead of the launch. "We wanted to develop styles and designs that were brand appropriate, but with a distinctive Urban Outfitters DNA and respect for Laura Ashley's long history."
Ahead of its 65th anniversary, Laura Ashley pulled archival patterns from the brand's vault, to apply to cool-again nostalgic styles. And while this isn’t a comeback per se—Laura Ashley has been available at a handful of retailers ever since its heyday—this collection does signify its step back into the fashion conversation. It’s available at Urban Outfitters stores nationwide and online, starting July 30th.
The assortment, with 13 items in total, is exactly what shoppers would expect from Urban Outfitters: Of-the-moment shapes, like a midi-dress and a pair of kick-flare pants, are covered in florals, ranging from big, bold blooms to the smaller ditzy prints that are Laura Ashley's calling card. Only, this time around, those flowers are modernized with a sun-faded, summer-ready palette that hints at the line's heirloom heritage without going into Oregon Trail cosplay territory. There are also patterned scrunchies and bucket hats in the mix, alongside blossom-print shoes and a see-through tote. Prices range from $19 to $89.
"While Laura Ashley has been around for 65 years, the brand is still very relevant to today's younger customer," Cairoli adds. Laura Ingalls Wilder fangirls? She’s looking at you. Shop our favorite looks from the collection, ahead.