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Fashion Art HERstory: Mary Quant


Mary Quant

Its summer time! The season for bomb pops, itty bitty bikins, rooftop parties, and skimpy attire. Without a doubt, summer is my favorite time of the year. Outside of cookouts and blazing heat, summer is known for the clothing (or lack thereof) the ladies parade around in.  Two of the items on the list of ‘clothing items that expose just enough’ are mini skirts and hot pants. Thanks to Mary Quant we are able to give a glimpse our entire leg and cover our lady places, barely.

That skirt sure is mini!

That skirt sure is mini!

Lady Quant was born February 11, 1934 in Blackheath, Kent, England. She attended Blackheath High School and then went on to study illustration at Goldsmiths College.  After paying her dues to the university system, Mary began her career in fashion as a milliner for an established designer.

Mary and a host of models. I tell you, this lady was a one woman show!

Mary and a host of models. I tell you, this lady was a one woman show!

After being at the bottom of the totem pole for a while, Mary ventured off and started to build her own brand. She took a risk and opened a boutique on King’s Road in London. Bazaar’s best sellers turned out to be white, reusable plastic and black leggings. Soon enough Mary became bored with what clothing was available. She decided to design her own clothing and make a profit off her creative mind. She began her wardrobe crafting journey dolo, but by 1966 she had 18 manufacturers helping to fuel her dream.

The Mary Quant logo has remained the same since she opened her first boutique, Bazaar.

The Mary Quant logo has remained the same since she opened her first boutique, Bazaar.

The first staple piece Mary created was our beloved mini skirt. To Mary, shorter skirts only made sense. They allowed women to scurry to catch without the bus and eliminated the worry of tripping. She named the skirt after her favorite car, the Mini. Just in case you’ve been under a rock since birth, the Mini is a small car that inspired the idea for the BMW Mini Cooper. In the late 1960s, Mary also shorted shorts thus creating hot pants.

Although Mary is known for the mini skirt and hot pants, she also designed other types of clothing and dabbled in the cosmetics industry as well.

Although Mary is known for the mini skirt and hot pants, she also designed other types of clothing and dabbled in the cosmetics industry as well.

British Motor Corporation decided to honor Mary’s love for their Mini by allowing her to design the interior of the vehicle. The 1988 Mini 1000 was originally set to be called the Quant Mini, but the majority of the population spoke out against Mary’s name being attached onto the car’s name.

A Mary Quant, Ltd. billboard in a subway. I wonder which cheek they're talking about. Mary is known for decorating both!

A Mary Quant, Ltd. billboard in a subway. I wonder which cheek they're talking about. Mary is known for decorating both!

In 2000 Mary stepped down as head honcho for Mary Quant, Ltd. Since its beginning, Mary’s company went from a one woman sweatshop to a full blown fashion and cosmetics line. Her resignation was due to a Japanese buy out of the company. Today, there are over 200 Mary Quant locations in Japan where Mary continues to get her shine.

Image Layout: Phaymiss

Mary's designs were simple and often included two colors or less.

Mary's designs were simple and often included two colors or less.


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