Tuesday, September 16, 2008
It's a Mod World
Mary Quant (February 11, 1934) is an English fashion designer and is considered a revolutionary contributor to 20th century design. Born to Welsh parents in Kent, England Quant studied illustration at Goldsmiths' College of Art in London before taking a job with a Danish milliner.
In November 1955, she opened her first boutique on the first floor aptly named "Bazzar" and a restaurant in the basement in Chelsea King's Road. Partnered with her husband Alexander Plunkett-Greene and an accountant, Archie McNair the shop would quickly be the focus of anti-establishment protest. Finding a lack of proper merchandise to sell, Quant began to design and manufacture her own range of clothing. She was the first to come out with hipster pants and one of the first designers to produce the mini-skirt. Quant was considered a forerunner in the mod movement and by 1961 opened a second Bazzar in Knightsbridge.
Her popularity during the Swinging Sixties London led to a lucrative mass-production deal with J C Penney in 1963. This prompted her to set up the "Ginger Group" label.
In the late sixties Quants last major contribution to the fashion world was the first hot pants. Through the 1970's and 1980's she put more emphasis on her household goods and cosmetics line.
In 2000 she resigned as director of Mary Quant Ltd., her cosmetics company, after a Japanese buyout. You can still purchase her designs today at one of the 200 Mary Quant Colour Shops in Japan.