Period 2 Textile Regular
January 29, 2013
Mary Quant was born on 11 February 1934 in Blackheath, London, United Kingdom. She was a London fashion designer in the 1950s and 60s. Her designs included miniskirts, vinyl boots, dresses with striking patterns and strong colors. Quant studied illustration at Goldsmiths College of Art, where she met her future husband and business partner, Alexander Plunket Greene. They had a son called Orlando and were happily married until Plunkett Greene died in 1990. Around last year of 1955, she teamed up with her husband, and a former solicitor, Archie Mcnair, to open a clothes shop on the Kings Road in London called Bazaar. Quant began designing unusual clothes that greatly appealed to the emerging youth market. The designs were simple, elegant and had clean lines; they were often made using fabrics such as gingham. Quant also sold accessories and jewelry made by students at the London art schools. The second Bazaar shop opened in Knightsbridge in 1957. During the 1960s, the mini-skirt controversially arrived on the fashion scene. Although the mini-skirt is often attributed to Quant, another designers, André Courrèges and John Bates, also developed it. Quant definitely made the mini-skirt shorter than other designers did, and it was instantly popular with young London women. In addition to the mini-skirt, Quant is often credited with inventing the colored and patterned tights that tended to accompany the mini. These mini-skirts became a pop culture phenomenon. Her clothes were not cheap, but were sought after and popular. By 1963, she was exporting to the United States and using clever merchandising. She moved into mass-production that year and launched the Ginger Group to distribute her cheaper designs, and soon afterward, J.C. Penney launched a line that she designed for them. Later that same year, Quant’s designs were sold at Paraphernalia, the New York City boutique started by Puritan. Shortly...
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