The renowned British fashion designer and style icon Mary Quant made a significant impact on the fashion world and revolutionized the fashion industry in the 1960s. She is widely credited with popularizing miniskirts and hotpants and creating a youthful and vibrant style that embodied the Swinging Sixties culture. She was also a pioneer of female entrepreneurship, opening her own boutique Bazaar on London’s King’s Road in 1955 and launching her own cosmetics line in 1966.
But is Mary Quant still alive today? Sadly, the answer is no. According to sources, she peacefully departed her residence in Surrey on April 13, 2023, reaching the age of 93. She had had dementia for several years and had retired from public life.
The passing of Mary elicited an overwhelming display of respect and remembrance from both the fashion industry and other spheres of influence, as many celebrities, designers, journalists, and fans expressed their admiration and gratitude for her legacy.
Mary Quant’s Early Life and Education
Mary Quant was born in Woolwich, London, on 11 February 1930, the daughter of two Welsh schoolteachers. She studied illustration and art education at Goldsmiths College and graduated in 1953. She married Alexander Plunket Greene, a jazz musician, and entrepreneur, in 1957. They had one son, Orlando, who survived her. Her husband died in 1990.
Mary Quant’s Fashion Career and Achievements
Mary Quant’s designs were inspired by the Mod and youth movements that emerged in West London in the 1950s and 1960s. She aimed to create clothes that were comfortable, practical, and fun for young women who wanted to express their individuality and independence. She used bright colors, geometric patterns, PVC, denim, and jersey fabrics to create mini dresses, skirts, trousers, coats, hats, bags, and shoes that were affordable and accessible. She also experimented with new shapes and silhouettes, such as the baby doll dress, the pinafore dress, the shift dress, and the wrap dress. She said: “Fashion is not frivolous; it is part of being alive today.”
Mary Quant’s influence extended beyond fashion to other aspects of culture and society. She was a symbol of female empowerment and liberation at a time when women’s roles and rights were changing rapidly. She challenged the norms and expectations of femininity and sexuality with her daring designs and attitude. She also contributed to the development of pop art, music, film, and photography with her collaborations with artists such as David Bailey, Peter Blake, and Andy Warhol.
Mary Quant’s legacy lives on in the fashion industry and in popular culture. Her designs have been copied, adapted, and referenced by many designers over the decades, such as Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, and Marc Jacobs. Her name has become synonymous with the miniskirt, which remains a staple item in many women’s wardrobes. Her style has also inspired many celebrities like Madonna, Kate Moss, Emma Watson, and Alexa Chung. She has been honored with many awards and recognitions for her achievements, such as being appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2015.
Mary Quant’s Personal Life and Family
Mary Quant was married to Alexander Plunket Greene for 33 years until he died in 1990. They had one son, Orlando Plunket Greene (born 1970), who is a photographer. Orlando married his wife Alice in 2004. They have two children: Felix (born in 2006) and Cecily (born in 2009).
Mary Quant lived in Surrey for most of her life. She enjoyed gardening, cooking, and reading. She was also an animal lover who had several dogs over the years.
Mary Quant had dementia for several years before her death. She retired from public life in 2016. She died peacefully at home on 13 April 2023.
Mary Quant’s Legacy and Influence
Mary Quant emerged as a prominent force in the world of fashion during the 20th century, leaving a lasting impact as a trailblazing designer. Her remarkable creativity and pioneering spirit set her apart from her contemporaries. She changed the way women dressed and felt about themselves. She made fashion fun, accessible and empowering. She was a true icon who will be greatly missed by many.
Here are some of the ways that Mary Quant’s legacy Lives on:
- The Victoria & Albert Museum hosted a retrospective exhibition of her work in 2019-2020. The exhibition featured over 200 garments and accessories from her personal archive as well as photographs, sketches, and films that showcased her impact on fashion history.
- The Mary Quant Foundation was established in 2017 to support education and research in fashion design. The foundation awards scholarships to students at Goldsmiths College (where she studied) as well as other institutions.
- The Mary Quant Award is an annual prize given by the British Fashion Council to recognize emerging talent in British fashion design. The award was launched in 2018 to honor Mary Quant’s contribution to the industry.
- The Mary Quant Cosmetics line is still available online through various retailers. The line features products such as lipsticks, eyeshadows, nail polishes, and fragrances that reflect Mary Quant’s colorful style.
- The Mary Quant Style Club is a community of fans who share their love for Mary Quant’s fashion on social media platforms such as Instagram. The club organizes events such as meet-ups, workshops, and photoshoots where members can dress up in Mary Quant-inspired outfits.
FAQs About Mary Quant
Here are Some of the Frequently Asked Questions about Mary Quant:
Q: When did Mary Quant Die?
A: Mary Quant died on 13 April 2023 at the age of 93.
Q: How did Mary Quant Die?
A: Mary Quant passed away peacefully in her residence in Surrey after suffering from dementia for several years.
Q: Where is Mary Quant Buried?
A: Mary Quant’s burial place is not publicly known.
Q: What did Mary Quant Invent?
A: Mary Quant did not invent anything per se, but she popularised many fashion items such as the miniskirt, the hotpants, the baby doll dress, the pinafore dress, the shift dress, the wrap dress, and more.
Q: Why is Mary Quant Famous?
A: Mary Quant is famous for being a British fashion designer and icon who revolutionized the fashion industry in the 1960s. She created a youthful and vibrant style that embodied the Swinging Sixties culture. She was also a pioneer of female entrepreneurship, opening her own boutique Bazaar on London’s King’s Road in 1955 and launching her own cosmetics line in 1966.
Q: How old was Mary Quant When She Died?
A: Mary Quant was 93 years old when she died.
Q: Who is Mary Quant’s Husband?
A: Mary Quant’s husband was Alexander Plunket Greene, a jazz musician, and entrepreneur. They married in 1957 and had one son, Orlando. Alexander died in 1990.
Q: Who is Mary Quant’s Son?
A: Mary Quant’s son is Orlando Plunket Greene, a photographer. He married his wife Alice in 2004. They have two children: Felix and Cecily.
Q: Is There a Movie About Mary Quant?
A: There is no movie about Mary Quant yet, but there have been rumors of a biopic being developed by Working Title Films since 2018. However, there is no official confirmation or release date for this project.
Q: Where Can I Buy Mary Quant Clothes?
A: You can buy vintage Mary Quant clothes online through platforms such as Etsy, eBay, Depop, and Vestiaire Collective. You can also find some replicas or inspired pieces from brands such as ASOS, Topshop, and Modcloth.