Fashion Design Icon of the Swinging '60s, Dame Mary Quant, Has Died at 93
Quant is credited for designing the mini-skirt, popularizing the shift dress, and defining an entire era of influential womenswear.
Dame Mary Quant, the fashion designer icon who defined the swinging ’60s, has died aged 93.
Quant did not just popularize the trends of the 1960s, she undeniably defined them. Her work was a welcomed shift to the stiff and proper uniforms of the 1950s, and her shop Bazaar — which she opened with her aristocrat husband Alexander Plunket Greene and lawyer-turned-photographer friend Archie McNairiend — was perhaps the first to shape London’s fashion scene as we know it today.
The self-taught, London-born designer is best known for creating the mini-skirt, super-high hemlines, and she was a retail pioneer. Bazaar gave young women a new sense of style, one that spoke to them in the ’60s, and it came down to making shopping fun — as Victoria & Albert notes: “It offered a radically different shopping experience than the couturiers, department stores and chain stores that made up the mainstream fashion market. At Bazaar, loud music, free drinks, witty window displays and extended opening hours created a ‘scene’ that often kept going late into the evening. Young women traveled to Bazaar to enjoy shopping for ‘something different’ in a much less formal environment.”
Quant’s trademarks, such as Twiggy-worn mini skirts and shift dresses, went on to define an era of influential designs that are still remembered today.
A statement from her family to the PA news agency said Quant “died peacefully at home in Surrey, UK this morning.” Her family added that she was “one of the most internationally recognized fashion designers of the 20th Century and an outstanding innovator.”