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Mary Quant

British, b. 1934

Mary Quant revolutionized the world of women's fashion during the Swinging Sixties. The British designer substantially modernized hemlines, popularizing the miniskirt and essentially introducing hot pants. Quant’s extensive repertoire included a range of garments, some famously modeled by Twiggy. Her liberating and refreshing designs for skirts, blouses, sweaters, knitted jersey dresses and chic stretchy tights challenged the conventions of the day and greatly influenced fashion trends that followed.

Quant was born in London in 1934. She wanted to pursue fashion from a young age, but her parents — both teachers — were unsupportive. She instead studied art and illustration at Goldsmiths College. Quant graduated in 1953, but her interest in fashion persisted, so she headed straight into an apprenticeship at a high-end millinery shop and never looked back.

In the late 1950s, Quant began making her own designs. When her then-boyfriend Alexander Plunket Greene bought a building in Chelsea, London, part of the project was eventually relegated to a boutique named Bazaar. Quant took a few classes at night on tailoring and created clothing that was to be sold out of the space, and her work quickly caught the attention of publications like Harper's Bazaar. Her shirts, modern tunic dresses, and other apparel captured the vitality of the postwar cultural shift occurring at the time. She also cultivated a lively environment in her shop, playing music, serving drinks and staying open for long hours. 

While hemlines had been gradually climbing above the knee before her contributions to the explosion in popularity of the miniskirt took shape — see the late 1950s-era pieces that Yves Saint Laurent designed for Dior or the Space Age dresses of Parisian couturier André Courrèges — Quant played no small role in challenging the conventions of traditional womenswear in the 1960s. She viewed the miniskirt as liberating. In the late 1960s, she also introduced short shorts that anticipated the later popularity of hot pants.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Quant focused more on makeup and household goods. In 1988, she designed the interior of the Mini 1000 car, which was originally called the Mini Quant.

Quant has earned a great deal of recognition for her contributions to the fashion industry. In as early as 1963, she was the winner of the first Fashion Museum Dress of the Year award. She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1966 and promoted to Dame Commander in 2015. Quant has also been awarded the Minerva Medal — the highest honor of the Chartered Society of Designers, of which she is a member.

When the Victoria and Albert Museum held a retrospective devoted to Quant's famous designs from the 1960s and 1970s, Quant was heavily involved in the production of the show.

Find a collection of vintage Mary Quant clothing and accessories on 1stDibs.

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Designer: Mary Quant
Rare Museum worthy Mary Quant wool dress, circa 1960s.
By Mary Quant
Located in London, GB
For a period the international fashionable pace was set by a talented group of London-based designers led by Mary Quant. She was one of the designers who took credit for the minisk...
Category

1960s British Mary Quant

Mary Quant collectible vintage 1960s Twiggy style jumpsuit
By Mary Quant
Located in Antwerp, BE
Rare Mary Quant collectible 1960s vintage Twiggy style jumpsuit/ onesie Measurements are taken flat. Sh to Sh 13inch/33cm - Ua to Ua 17inch/43cm(x2) - Waist 14,5nch/37cm(x2) - Hips 1...
Category

1960s British Mary Quant

Vintage Mary Quant Black and White Knitted Top
By Mary Quant
Located in London, GB
A chic vintage top by Mary Quant. The top has a round neckline and cap sleeves, and is stripes on one half and block colour on the other, front and back.
Category

1960s British Mary Quant

MARY QUANT Rhinestone Abstract Silk Tie Top Size Small
By Mary Quant
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This Mary Quant top is composed of an abstract printed silk and features a rhinestone neck tie with a halter style. There are some rhinestones missing from the halter chain. *...
Category

20th Century Unknown Mary Quant

1980S MARY QUANT Multicolor PVC Colorblock Rain Poncho
By Mary Quant
Located in New York, NY
1980S MARY QUANT Multicolor PVC Colorblock Rain Poncho
Category

1980s Mary Quant

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Previously Available Items
1960S Mary Quant Black Girdle With Daisies
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Mary Quant Vintage 1960s Mod Orange Wool Trapeze Swing Coat with Ring Pulls
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Amazing 1970s Mary Quant Black Velvet ' Zipper ' Bellbottom 70s Jumpsuit Onesie
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Mary Quant Blue & Red Peasant Dress with Ditsy Floral Print, 1970s
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Mary Quant Vintage Brown Avant Garde Knit Poncho Dress with Attached Scarf, 1970
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60s Mary Quant Floral One Piece Undergarment
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60s white and blue floral Mary Quant one piece under slip with shaped underwire bra cups. Adjustable straps. Hook and eye back closure with back zip.
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60s Mary Quant Black Dress with Silk Printed Collar & Cuffs
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Mary Quant fashion for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers an extraordinary range of authentic Mary Quant fashion. If you’re browsing our collection of unique vintage and designer fashion to elevate your daily look or to introduce new colors to the dazzling formal wear in your wardrobe, this designer’s body of work includes elements of blue, pink and other tones. Customers who are interested in this designer might also find the work of Rizkallah, Norman Hartnell and Rodrigues appealing. On 1stDibs, find designer, vintage and haute couture Mary Quant fashion from top boutiques around the world. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at US$195 and tops out at US$1,238, while the average work can sell for US$454.

Designers Similar to Mary Quant

Questions About Mary Quant
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Mary Quant designed many ground-breaking articles of clothing. Some of her most well-known designs include the Jersey dress, miniskirts, opaque tights, skinny ribbed sweaters, PVC raincoats and accessories and hot pants. Find a range of Mary Quant apparel on 1stDibs.

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