Dame Mary Quant, the legendary British fashion designer who revolutionised the industry with her iconic mini-skirt and other sleek designs during the swinging 60s, has passed away at the age of 93. Her family confirmed that she died peacefully at home in Surrey, UK on April 14, 2023.
Quant was a trailblazer in the world of fashion and one of the most important and influential figures of the 20th century. She opened her first shop, Bazaar, on London’s Kings Road in 1955, and quickly established a unique contribution to British fashion. Her far-sighted and creative talents earned her worldwide recognition and cemented her status as a fashion icon.
Born on February 11, 1930, in South East London, Quant studied art education at Goldsmiths College, where she met Alexander Plunket-Greene, who later became her husband and helped establish her fashion brand. In 1955, she opened her boutique, Bazaar, on Chelsea’s Kings Road, which became the epicentre of the Swinging London fashion scene.
Quant was best known for creating the mini-skirt, which she named after her favourite car and hot pants. She also popularised the bob haircut and created waterproof mascara. Her designs were sleek, vibrant, and playful, and they reflected the joyful freedom of the 1960s fashion era. She represented a new role model for young women and made fashion accessible to the masses.
Quant’s influence on the fashion industry was immeasurable, and her contributions to the field will be remembered for generations to come. In a tribute responding to her passing, London’s Victoria & Albert Museum said that “it’s impossible to overstate Quant’s contribution to fashion.” Alexandra Shulman, the former editor of Vogue, described her as “a leader of fashion but also in female entrepreneurship – a visionary who was much more than a great haircut.” The fashion director of the International New York Times, Vanessa Friedman, said that “we owe you” to Quant, who freed the female leg.
Dame Mary Quant’s legacy will live on, and she will be remembered as one of the most innovative and influential fashion designers of all time. Her iconic designs, which epitomised the swinging 60s, continue to inspire fashion designers and fashion lovers all over the world.