Mary Mary Quite Quantrary

Mary Mary Quite Quantrary

This month we celebrate Mary Quant, born 11 February 1934, we look at why she makes our fashion revolutionary wall of fame.

Known as the originator of the miniskirt, London designer Mary studied art at Goldsmiths, University of London. At the age of 21, she opened her very first store BAZAAR with her late husband Alexander Plunket Greene and Solicitor Archie McNair. Quant wanted to make fashion affordable stating “Snobbery has gone out of fashion, and in our shops you will find duchesses jostling with typists to buy the same dresses.” 

After seeing an older ballet dancer wearing a 10 inch pleated skirt, a skinny black sweater, black tights, a pair of white ankle socks and a pair of patent tap shoes at the studio she went to when she was only a girl, Mary was inspired by this image of legs and ankles and started her journey by cutting up bedspreads. 

She also started hitching up her school dress for a more exciting look which later lead her to deconstruct dress patterns and modernise them with shortened hemlines which she named "the mini' after her favourite car the Mini Cooper. 

She later went on to invent the hotpant, was the first designer to use PVC in her clothing as well as predicted and created detachable collars which we still see trending 50 years later.
The "mod" era and the "Chelsea look" was huge just after World War II although some (older) people did not agree with the trend calling the mini vulgar!

Mary couldn't understand why coloured tights were only available in theaters and not in stores which led her to persuade manufacturers to make some for her to sell, popularising them with the mini.

Mary Quant (center, in red dress) and models displaying her 1967 collection

Mary was friends with famous hair stylist Vidal Sassoon who used to cut Mary's hair into his famous 5 point bob.

Mary with friend Vidal Sassoon

In 1966 Mary designed her own cosmetics line launching "the paintbox" a selection of different colours, which we now know as a colour palette.

Mary Quant Crayons

Last year Mary was made Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to British fashion. Selling the last of her businesses in 2000, Mary is now out of the spotlight but still in our hearts.

Mary Quant in 2011

If it weren't for Mary, who knows what we could be wearing today, she revolutionised the way we dress and for this Mary, we salute you!!


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C.A.R.L.Y - Customer commitment Attention to detail, Reputation renew re-invent, Love for what you do, Yes can attitude