When we got wind of Batsheva’s collaboration with Laura Ashley, we couldn’t quite think of a partnership that could be more perfectly aligned. And indeed, designer Batsheva Hay confirms that the iconic British lifestyle brand has been pinned to to her proverbial moodboard since day one. Launching today, the collaboration is a nostalgia-infused offering that fuses Batsheva signatures with archival floral prints and silhouettes plucked from the archives. The 15-piece collection, which features everything from aprons and mitts to matching mommy and me offerings, is coming just in time for the holidays too. We called the New York-based designer to get the inside scoop!
You were named as a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist again this year, how does it feel?
It’s my second time doing the Fashion Fund. I was part of it in 2018 when it was in-person. This year, I was the only one who was a finalist again and it was really exciting to do it this time because its not a competition and the program is beneficial for everyone. It allows me to be more open and less distracted and continue to learn.
What other brand highlights have you been celebrating recently?
A lot of new retail partners! We had our show during Fashion Week too. We hadn’t done it for a while so that was great. And going to the Met Ball for the first time was a new and exciting thing!
How was Fashion Week this year different for you than normal?
The logistics were a lot more complicated, with the testing, and it made everyone on edge a little. That was the main difference, but other than that, seeing people again was great.
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Tell us about the show setting!
We had it at Serendipity, which is a really classic New York spot that has been around forever. I grew up in New York, so I went there a lot as a kid. It recently reopened so we used the opportunity to have the event there and everyone got to have frozen hot chocolate, Champagne, and French fries. It was so nice. And we tried to use the theme [of the space] with the retro vibe of the clothing and the hair.
Congrats on the collection with Laura Ashley. How did it come about?
Laura Ashley is at the heart of my inspiration! Some of my first memories of clothing, from when I was a kid, involve the brand. They approached me during the pandemic to work together on the ready to wear. It was all done virtually but I was so excited as I got to dig through their archive virtually, play around and design pieces, do my shapes with their prints, and see old line drawings of theirs. It was a pleasure to be able to do all of that.
What’s your earliest memory of Laura Ashley?
My mom and my grandmother love Laura Ashley. I had so many little Laura Ashley dresses and even Laura Ashley bed sheets growing up. I remember the store on Madison Avenue—we lived in Queens but we would drive in for special trips to go there.
And it’s the first time the brand has collaborated with a designer! That’s exciting.
To be honest, I’ve been trying to reach out to them for years! When they contacted me, I was like, ‘Finally!!’
What do we need to know about the pieces?
The clothing, because it’s all printed cotton, is so practical. You can even wear it if you can have people over for brunch, so I liked the idea of having a complete look for entertaining and incorporating the prints in domestic accessories. We did four core fabrics in oven mitts and aprons to match your dress—so you can even wear a full head-to-toe look for baking brownies! They make for fun gifts too.
Where can people find it?
It’s very exciting because it will be carried at all these amazing retailers, like Net a Porter, Nordstrom, MATCHES, and Shopbop, and on my website too.
Will you celebrate the collection with an event?
We’re hoping to have an event in London! Everything is still in the works though.
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Laura Ashley is so nostalgic for a lot of people, what other nostalgic influences inspire you?
I love children’s clothing, that’s where everything started. Theres a few mommy and me pieces in the Laura Ashley collection. I’m going to look into making more kids clothing!
What else are you working on?
So many things! The next collection—trying to get those immediate things done and trying to do little things with jewelry, furniture, and all sorts of things.