British designer Mary Quant, known for creating colourful, sexy miniskirt, has died. She was 93.
Her family said she died “peacefully at home” in Surrey, southern England, on Thursday, according to an AP report.
Quant helped popularise the miniskirt and the innovative tights and accessories that were an integral part of the Swinging 60s look. She also created dresses and other simple mix-and-match garments that had an element of whimsy, said the report.
“I think it was a happy confluence of events, which is really what fashion is so often all about,” said Hamish Bowles, international editor at large for American Vogue magazine. “She was the right person with the right sensibility in the right place at the right time. She appeared on the scene at the exact cusp of the ’60s.”
Quant was also an astute businesswoman and one of the first to understand how branding herself as a creative force could help her sustain her business and branch out into new fields, like cosmetics, he said.
Alexandra Shulman, former editor-in-chief of British Vogue, wrote on Twitter: “RIP Dame Mary Quant. A leader of fashion but also in female entrepreneurship - a visionary who was much more than a great haircut.”
Quant was perfectly positioned to capitalize on the “youthquake” of the 1960s. She sensed that the days of exclusive salons were numbered, and thought that even the great Parisian designers would follow ready-to-wear trends, said the AP report. “Quant introduced miniskirts with hemlines up to 8 inches above the knee to the London scene in 1966 and they were an instant hit with young people, in part because they shocked and offended their elders. While some insist she first developed the style, many also credit French designer Andre Courreges, whose 1964 spring collection included minidresses that were popular in Paris but did not have widespread impact outside France,” it added.