Renowned fashion designer Mary Quant has passed away at the age of 93. The British designer died peacefully at her home in Surrey on April 13th, her family has confirmed. Quant was credited with popularizing mini-skirts that defined Britain’s ‘Swinging Sixties’ era.
She started her career in 1955 when she opened a boutique called Bazaar in London, soon after graduating from college. The designer was considered one of the influential figures in UK fashion in the 1960s. Continue reading to know more about her life and career.
Fashion Designer Mary Quant Dies at 93
Quant’s family released a statement on Thursday announcing her death: “Dame Mary, aged 93, died peacefully at home in Surrey, UK this morning. She was one of the most internationally recognized Fashion Designers of the 20th Century and an outstanding innovator of the Swinging Sixties.”
Born in 1930 in London, studied illustration and art education at Goldsmiths College on her parent’s advice, however, she was always interested in fashion. After finishing college, she apprenticed with Erik, a high-end hat designer. She then opened the store Bazaar at Kings Road with her husband, Alexander Plunket Greene.
The store soon became famous with young crowds, who liked the vibrant and sleek designs offered by Quant and Greene. The designer then started working on minis-skirts and made the clothing popular with a new generation of young women, becoming an icon in London’s Youthquake movement.
Quant’s Career Lasted Over Four Decades
Apart from skirts, Quant also made tights, hotpants, onesies, and PVC raincoats fashionable. “It was the girls on King’s Road who invented the mini. I was making clothes that would let you run and dance and we would make them the length the customer wanted. I wore them very short and the customers would say, ‘shorter, shorter,’” she recalled in an interview in 2014.
Her designs featured contrasting colors, geometric patterns, and polka dots, achieving a playful and modern look. “City gents in bowler hats beat on our shop window with their umbrellas shouting ‘immoral!’ and ‘disgusting!’ at the sight of our mini-skirts over the tights, but customers poured in to buy,” she recalled in her 1966 book Quant by Quant.
Industry Mourns the Designer’s Death
Several models and designers have paid tribute to Mary Quant on social media. Model Twiggy Lawson wrote, “Mary Quant was such an influence on young girls in the late 50s early 60s. She revolutionised fashion and was a brilliant female entrepreneur. The 1960s would have never been the same without her. Condolences to her family, RIP dear Dame Mary.”
The Victoria and Albert Museum tweeted, “It’s impossible to overstate Quant’s contribution to fashion. She represented the joyful freedom of 1960s fashion, and provided a new role model for young women. Fashion today owes so much to her trailblazing vision.”
“A true great has died. Mary Quant was one of the most influential women in fashion & greater than any other post war designer. She freed women’s legs, created the most daring & disruptive hem line of all time, and changed the way we think about women’s wear forever,” tweeted a fan.
Mary Quant’s legacy will continue to live on in the world of fashion. Stay tuned for more news and updates.