The iconic British fashion designer Mary Quant, who revolutionized the 1960s with her remarkable miniskirts and inspired an entire worldwide cultural movement known as “youthquake,” passed away at 93 years of age.
Her family shared the heartbreaking news that Quant had passed away peacefully in her home in Surrey, England on Thursday.
Mary Quant was celebrated for introducing the miniskirt to London in 1966, a style that revolutionized women’s fashion.
She complemented her bold ensemble with modern tights and statement pieces.
She rocked that iconic blunt bob haircut, and her style was truly trendsetting – even popularizing hot pants among young people.
“RIP Dame Mary Quant. A leader of fashion but also in female entrepreneurship — a visionary who was much more than a great haircut,” Alexandra Shulman, former editor-in-chief of British Vogue, wrote on Twitter.
Quant’s design sensibility was alluring, humorous, and unique – in comparison to the floral day dresses that women donned after World War II.
She specifically tailored the miniskirt to a younger demographic, carefully curating colors and materials that would be both attractive and affordable during an economically tight period.
Models such as Twiggy and Pattie Boyd (the spouse of Beatles guitarist George Harrison) flaunted their show-stopping outfits crafted by Quant.
Her admirers went as far to compare her fashion impact with that of the Beatles’ effect on music.
Nevertheless, not everybody responded positively to Quant’s trailblazing provocative style choices – in 1967, The Guardian even queried whether her fashion could be termed as ‘tasteless’.
“Good taste is death, vulgarity is life,” she said.
Quant revealed that the suggestive poses of her models were a representation of the sexual liberation brought on by advances in contraception, such as the birth control pill.
She was a savvy businesswoman who knew how to market her brand in order to break into new industries, such as cosmetics, kitchenware, and household goods.
On February 11, 1930, Mary Quant was born in London and attended Goldsmith’s College to pursue a degree in art education.
After earning her apprenticeship with a hatmaker, she then made the bold move of pursuing her own fashion designs.
Wealthy husband and business partner Alexander Plunket Greene, along with accountant Archie McNair, proved to be essential allies for Quant when she opened her iconic clothing store Bazaar in London back in 1955.
At a time when fashion boutiques reigned supreme, the store revolutionized ready-to-wear garments and found itself at the forefront of fashion trends.
“Snobbery has gone out of fashion, and in our shops you will find duchesses jostling with typists to buy the same dress,” Quant once remarked.
She said the shop was “a sophisticated candy store for grown-ups.”
With her clothing line rapidly gaining recognition, she opened multiple Bazaar stores throughout London and eventually ventured beyond the sea to America where “British invasion” was thundering ahead.