Its inventor, Mary Quant, celebrates her 76. birthday today.
Mary Quant, 32, smiles as she displays her Member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in London, England on Nov. 15, 1966. She was presented the medal by the Queen in recognition of her contribution to British exports and industry.
© AP Photos
Everything started in 1955 in a small boutique in London. The owner, Mary Quant, wanted to sell trendy gear, hip clothes that she liked – but she found nothing to her taste. There was only one thing to do – make them herself. She made skirts from plain material, short skirts that grew shorter and shorter: the miniskirt was invented – and Mary Quant was a made woman. Within a short space of time, the miniskirt had captured not only the hearts of women (and men, too!) in London, but revolutionised fashion throughout the entire world.
Up to then, fashion had been mainly for wealthy women. But Mary Quant set a completely new trend. She wanted all women to be able to afford fashionable clothing, not just those who were well-
off. And her success has proven her idea to be right. Soon, the miniskirt was popular with all social classes, finding favour with ladies in “better” society, white-
collar and blue-
collar workers, and housewives. It was combined with long and short boots, broad belts or high-
heeled shoes, depending on the current fashion trend. And Mary Quant? She didn’t rest on her laurels. As an astute businesswoman, she opened fashion boutiques throughout the world in which she sold affordable clothes and accessories. And at the end of the sixties, she came up with another big fashion hit: hotpants. Today she is celebrating her 76. birthday – Happy Birthday, Mary Quant!