Saturday, 19 November 2011

Mary Quant Designer Vintage Clothing Profile

Responsible for the 'London Look' Mary Quant was the fashion designer and entrepreneur of the 1960s. She was the inventor of the min-skirt (along with Andre Courreges & John Bates) and hot pants. She proclaimed "good taste is death, vulgarity is life" and summarized the fashion of the 60's as "arrogant, aggressive and sexy." Although she is still designing today, she is largely known for her 60's creations. She was born in London, England on February 11th, 1934 and from 1950-1953 she attended Goldsmith's College of Art in London. After graduating, she worked for Erik, a London milliner.

Meanwhile , Alexander Plunket-Greene and Quant had paired up with a friend named Archie McNair. When Greene, who later became her husband, inherited 5,000 pounds on his 21st birthday, the three decided to go into business together. They rented Markham House, a three-story building on King's Road in London's artist district, Chelsea. In Markham House, they opened a boutique on the first floor and a restaurant in the basement. They called the boutique Bazaar in 1955. Here she sold inexpensive, brightly coloured simple clothes which were immediate hits with young girls and boys. These included skinny rib jumpers, ready-to-wear short skirts and dresses, coloured tights, hipster belts, PVC garments and sleeveless crochet tops and hats. In 1957 she opened a second boutique. 

In 1961 Mary Quant showed her first fur collection and launched her first wholesale company. In 1962 she presented her first collection for the American market. She also started to design for J.C. PENNEY of New York. Regardless of whether she invented these items, Mary Quant was one of their major popularisers, largely thanks to the fact that Bazaar was a popular haunt for the fashionable "Chelsea Set" of "Swinging London". By 1961, Quant had opened a second Bazaar in Knightsbridge and by 1965 she was exporting to the U.S.. To keep up with demand, Quant went into mass-production, setting up the Ginger Group in 1963. Struggling to make ends meet and suffering ridicule from the press and some passers-by, Quant persevered. In less than ten years, her clothing designs was world famous, selling in 150 shops in Britain, 320 stores in the United States, and throughout the world: France, Italy, Switzerland, Kenya, South Africa, Australia, Canada, and more. 

From 1964-68 she designed for Butterick patterns. In 1965 she launched the mini-skirt in London. A fashion show was held aboard the royal yacht Queen Elizabeth and was a great hit. The same year, she took 30 outfits to the USA and the models in their thigh-high dresses stopped traffic on Broadway and in Times Square in New York. They were seen on American TV. She visited l2 cities in 14 days showing clothes to a non-stop dance routine with pop music accompaniment. 

She soon had built up a million pound industry, selling to nearly all the countries in the Western world and Japan, designing 28 collections a year. In 1966 Mary Quant received the O.B.E. for her services to the fashion industry, and went to receive this honour from the Queen dressed in a mini-skirt. She published a book "Quant by Quant" in 1966. The same year, she introduced her famous and highly successful cosmetics line, with it's striking daisy logo. She also launched a footwear line. In 1967 she opened another boutique. 

In 1970 she introduced hot pants, tight figure-revealing short shorts, made of knit or soft materials, worn with floor length maxi-coats allowed to swing open and knee high boots. These were an instant success. During the 70's and 80's Mary Quant continued to add to her product line, putting her Daisy logo on household furnishings, towels and sheets, knitwear, men's ties, eyewear, hats and even a mod version of the Barbie doll. 

Search for vintage Mary Quant clothing at My Vintage - Vintage Mary Quant Clothing

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