Learn About Fashion Designer Mary Quant

In our previous article about the History of the Miniskirt, we’ve mentioned that the fashion designer credited for inventing the modern miniskirt in 1964 was Mary Quant. She was able to make a revolutionary garment that became an instant hit among young women. It has also given way for women to express their sexual freedom and being fashionable. But who is Mary Quant, and what are her other works in the world of fashion? If you are curious, read on as we’re giving you more information about fashion designer Mary Quant. 

Mary Quant’s Early Life

Dame Barbara Mary Quant, popularly known as Mary Quant, is a British fashion designer and icon. She was born on February 11, 1930, in Blackheath, London. Both of her parents were from mining families but were awarded scholarships to grammar school. With this, both of them attained first-class degrees at Cardiff University before moving to London to work as teachers. 

Mary Quant attended Blackheath High School, then went to study illustration at Goldsmiths College. When she got a diploma in Art Education from Goldsmiths, she started an apprenticeship at Erik, which is a high-end Mayfair milliner on Brook Street. 

Mary Quant’s Career in the Fashion Industry

The dresses made by Mary Quant were featured in Harper’s Bazaar, which was bought by an American manufacturer to copy. After this, she decided to design and create more of the clothes she stocked instead of buying in her stock. She started to work solo, then soon began employing some sewing machine operators. When 1966 came, she was working with eighteen manufacturers. 

Mary Quant was one of the only two London-based high-end designers in the late 1950s and early 1960s who were offering youthful clothes for your people consistently. The other designer was Kiki Bryne, who opened a boutique on the King’s Road in straight rivalry with Mary Quant. 

Mary Quant’s Miniskirt Invention

Like what we’ve mentioned earlier, Mary Quant was credited for inventing the modern miniskirt. This was one of the defining fashions of the 1960s and among the garments that are most widely associated with her. However, even though she was usually cited as the inventor of the style, this claim has been challenged by other people. 

A modern-day fashion journalist and editor of the persuasive “Young Ideas” pages for UK Vogue named Marit Allen resolutely stated another fashion designer named John Bates was the original creator of the miniskirt and not Mary Quant. However, skirts had been becoming shorter since the 1950s, which was a development that Mary Quant considered liberating and practical as it allowed women the ability to run for a bus. 

Later on, Quant stated that the girls on the King’s Road during the Swinging London scene were the ones who invented the mini. She said that she was making youthful, easy, and simple clothes where girls could move, run, jump, and would make them the length the customer asked for. According to her, the customers would always request for them to be shorter. After that, she gave the miniskirt its name after her favorite make of car, which is the Mini. 

Aside from the miniskirt, Mary Quant is also usually credited with inventing the colored and patterned tights that used to accompany the miniskirt. However, their creation is also credited to Cristobal Balenciaga, a Spanish couturier who introduced harlequin-patterned tights in 1962. 

Mary Quant’s Later Career

Mary Quant introduced the short shorts that were the forerunner of hotpants in the late 1960s. This also became a British fashion icon. After that, Quant focused on household goods and make-up through the 1970s and 1980s. This included the duvet, which she also claimed she had invented. 

Quant then designed the interior of the Mini (1000) Designer in 1988. It was originally called the Mini Quant. However, the name was changed when popularity charts were set against having her name on the car. This car featured black and white striped seats that have red trimmings. Quant’s signature was placed on the upper left quadrant and as well as on the steering wheel. 

Mary Quant resigned as director of Mary Quant Ltd in 2000, which was her cosmetics company after it was bought by a Japanese. There are over 200 Mary Quant Color shops located in Japan. 


Mary Quant is indeed among the best fashion designers out there. Her designs echoed a change in fashion from the establishment to youth as the foundation of motivation. Without her, women might not be enjoying the freedom to wear shorter skirts in different styles. We hope that this article helped you in learning more about Mary Quant.