Dame Mary Quant, the legendary fashion designer who revolutionized the industry with her trailblazing designs and iconic miniskirts, has died at the age of 93, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire and shape the world of fashion today.
Legendary fashion designer Dame Mary Quant, who revolutionized the fashion industry in the 1960s and is credited with popularizing the miniskirt, has passed away peacefully at the age of 93 in her home in Surrey. Model Twiggy Lawson, who became a style icon during the era, paid tribute to Dame Mary, saying that she had “such an influence on young girls in the late 50s early 60s” and that “the 1960s would have never been the same without her.”
Former Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman also praised Dame Mary’s work, calling her “a visionary who was much more than a great haircut.” Vanessa Friedman, the fashion director of the International New York Times, tweeted, “RIP Mary Quant, who freed the female leg. We owe you.”
Dame Mary was born in southeast London in 1930 and gained a diploma in art education at Goldsmiths College in the 1950s. She opened her first shop, Bazaar, on King’s Road in Chelsea in 1955, which soon became the beating heart of Swinging London. Her far-sighted and creative talents quickly established a unique contribution to British fashion.
Dame Mary was one of the most influential figures in the fashion scene of the 1960s and is credited with making fashion accessible to the masses with her sleek, streamlined, and vibrant designs. She explored geometric designs, polka dots, and contrasting colors, and played with new fabrics, including PVC and stretch fabrics, to achieve a modern and playful look.
Her models were showcased in extravagant and provocative window displays overlooking the King’s Road, which became a miniskirt catwalk and drew American photographers keen to picture Swinging London. She is also credited with creating hot pants, the skinny rib sweater, and waterproof mascara.
Dame Mary’s impact on fashion cannot be overstated. The Victoria & Albert Museum said that “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.”
Although there has been a long and bitter dispute with late French designer Andre Courreges, among others, about whether or not Dame Mary actually invented the miniskirt, her role in turning the thigh-skimming super-short hemlines into an international trend has not been disputed.
Dame Mary Quant will always be remembered as a visionary who revolutionized the fashion industry and inspired generations of women to be confident and bold. Her contribution to fashion will continue to be celebrated and her legacy will live on.