Mary Quant (1930-2023) – an amazing fashion influencer with a powerful business acumen

by Rose Barrett
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Mary Quant died last week aged 93, and yet, she is still a household name to generations of fashion- conscious women.

Credited as the proponent of the miniskirt (albeit French couturier André Courréges also claimed to be the first to introduce the minidress/skirt), Mary Quant went on to create an internationally popular retail brand.

But while her distinctive minis transformed the sixties, the British designer had a mega influence over ladies’ fashion for decades to come.

Polo necks, crochet knits and dresses, snug fit ribbed jumpers and tops, frilly blouses, pinafores and much more, she was also the early leader of vinyl (PVC) and polyurethane fake leather boots and trousers.

And of course, she popularised ‘flower power’, hot pants, dungarees and had a new generation go dotty over polka dots, big and small.

Quant’s early mini skirts were deemed immoral by many – but by today’s standards, they were virtually prudish lengths, just above the knee!

She most definitely revolutionised women’s fashions and her annual collections proved to be a hit for years.

Not only did she wear her own styles, the sale of her miniskirts and dresses bought fashionistas to her London boutique ‘Bazaar’ on the King’s Road.

Soon she was securing huge international contracts and the name Mary Quant became one of the best known fashion brands.

Quant was not afraid to mix and match her styles, one minute dainty patent shoes were the rage, the next knee high patent boots.

She mixed ribbed knits with pleated short skirts, crochet mini dresses, trousers suits, or hot pants with knee high boots or platforms as they emerged in the ‘70s.

In the ‘70s, she ceased mass production but continued to design everything from lingerie, furs, household accessories – even designer spectacles and all the while she maintained her distinctive short hair bob.

Her Mary Quant cosmetic lines continued to be best sellers until she sold the company in 2000 – 45 years after its foundation!

She received an OBE in 1966 (Order of the British Empire and a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2015.

An incredible fashion influencer and a woman with the business acumen to make Mary Quant an international household name.

Mary Quant, born February 11, 1930 in London and died on April 13 last in Surrey, England. 

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