The women’s fashion revolutionary leaves an eternal style legacy to the world


Mary Quant, the famous fashion designer who revolutionised women’s wardrobes in the 1960s by introducing the mini skirt, the symbol of the women’s revolution, left us on 13 April at the age of 93. Born in London in 1934 and raised here, she loved and pursued fashion from early on, but her parents were hostile to her plans to attend a design school and so she was forced to fall back on a drawing degree. But, as they say, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’, here she met and fell in love with Alexander Plunket Greene, an aristocrat who was soon to be her husband and business partner. In 1955, Mary, Alexander and Archie McNair, a photographer with a law career behind him, decided to take over a building in Chelsea, by then a meeting place for intellectuals and artists, and open a restaurant and shop there. This shop, which would take the name Bazaar, would be Mary Quant’s first boutique, and it was here that she would begin to work in the fashion world and take her first steps as a designer. Mary Quant’s creations were innovative for the time: collarless dresses, skin-tight trousers and colourful textures, as well as the famous mini skirt. The mini skirt was first introduced in the summer of 1965, with a length of about seven centimetres above the knee. The mini was designed in response to a request from some of the girls who frequented Mary Quant’s boutique, who asked for clothes that made it easier to move around while dancing in night clubs. The mini skirt soon became a symbol of 1960s fashion, symbolising the cultural revolution taking place. In addition, Mary Quant’s creations also featured unisex fashion elements, such as sailor hats and shirts with mandarin collars. Her collections were characterised by a youthful, happy energy, in stark contrast to post-war austerity. Mary Quant’s fashion embodied the rebellious spirit of the youth of the 1960s, rejecting traditional canons and embracing the novelty of pop culture. Mary Quant turned her business into a successful enterprise, exporting her collections worldwide and becoming a pop culture symbol. Her taste for fashion was soon embraced by stars of show business and music, such as 1960s supermodel Twiggy and singer Marianne Faithfull. However, Mary Quant’s legacy was much more than just fashion. Through her innovative creations and ideas, Mary Quant was a disruptive force in the fashion world, introducing new perspectives to women’s fashion and redefining the conventional beauty standards of the past. In addition, Mary Quant helped create a true youth culture, ushering in the beginning of an era in which young people had an increasingly important voice and presence in mainstream culture. Mary Quant has been and will continue to be a timeless style icon, with her ability to create timeless fashion still appreciated by many generations. The mini skirt, in particular, has become a classic in many women’s wardrobes, as well as a symbol of female emancipation. This is how we at Michele Franzese Moda say goodbye to you: Goodbye Miss Quant, you were a milestone in the fashion world, creating fashion that represented the joy of life and the carefreeness of youth. Your creations have inspired young and creative people for decades and continue to do so today; you left us a valuable legacy, both in terms of style and attitude, that will continue to influence future fashion trends. “I didn’t have time to wait for women’s liberation, so I did it myself,” is how she often replied. There goes a piece of fashion history and one who literally made fashion. Goodbye Miss Quant, we will continue to dream thanks to your fantastic insights. Translated with (free version)