The legendary fashion designer Dame Mary Quant has died aged 93. Mary is best known for being credited with designing the mini skirt – a look which epitomized the 1960’s and remains popular today.
“Dame Mary Quant died peacefully at home in Surrey, UK, this morning.
“Dame Mary, aged 93, was one of the most internationally recognized fashion designers of the 20th century and an outstanding innovator of the Swinging Sixties. She opened her first shop Bazaar in the Kings Road in 1955 and her far-sighted and creative talents quickly established a unique contribution to British fashion.”
News of her passing comes shortly after Dame Mary received the Companion of Honour award in King Charles first New Year’s Honors List – which is one of the highest honors awarded.
The award is given to, per the Mary Quant website, those who have made, “a major contribution to the arts, science, medicine, or government lasting over a long period of time”
Mary was born in south east London on February 11, 1930. The designer’s creativity and flare bloomed from a young age. It was while studying for a diploma in art education at Goldsmiths College that she met her husband Alexander Plunket Greene – who later helped her found her brand.
She’s remembered for being one of the most influential fashion designers in British history and is often credited with creating the mini-skirt. However, the designer herself never made that claim.
“It was the girls on the King’s Road who invented the miniskirt,” she once said, according to The Industry.Fashion. “I was making easy, youthful, simple clothes, in which you could move, in which you could run and jump and we would make them the length the customer wanted.”
The King’s Road, a famous road in London’s Chelsea which was also home to Vivienne Westwood’s first clothing store, was where Mary first opened her shop, Bazaar.
As the brand grew from strength to strength, so did its strong brand identity – which was very much inspired by Mary’s own distinctive look – which became known as “Chelsea Girl.” Short skirts, big prints, colored tights, peter pan collars, and blunt pixie cuts for days – the clothes were at the time a revolution.
Models like Twiggy and stars like Cilla Black and Patty Boyd popularized the Chelsea Girl look – which remains hugely influential to this very day.
Tributes from the fashion world and beyond have flooded in as the news of the designer’s passing was announced.
Patty tweeted, “Very sad news today to learn of the passing of the 60s daringly creative, fun genius, much-loved lady, Dame Mary Quant. Mary insisted on making George’s and my wedding coats in 1966; his, Black Mongolian Fur and mine, Red Fox. A true icon. RIP.”
Former editor-in-chief of British Vogue Alexandra Shulman tweeted, “RIP Dame Mary Quant. A leader of fashion but also in female entrepreneurship- a visionary who was much more than a great haircut.”
New York Times and INYT fashion director/critic Vanessa Friedman also tweeted, “RIP Mary Quant, who freed the female leg. We owe you.”
The Victoria and Albert Museum said in a tweet, “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.”
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