Remembering Mary Quant
14 Apr 2023
Fashion designer, Mary Quant, sadly passed away at home yesterday at the age of 93. A giant of the fashion world, she is credited as the woman that redefined fashion in the 1960s, and of course for introducing the mini-skirt, though she would always graciously acknowledge others in that role.
Genesis was hugely honoured that Mary very kindly contributed to our limited edition, Vogue - Voice of a Century with her reflections on her career and her contribution to fashion. Below we include a few of her quotes from the edition and those of Grace Coddington and Jill Kennington that reflect on her legacy.
On the origins of her creativity:
'After the war, life was hard. There were ten years of gloom and despair when London was a bombsite, nothing moved, nothing happened. But without that period the cultural blossoming of the Sixties would never have taken place. You create things when you're deprived of them - that's what I did.'
On the iconic mini-skirt:
'Everyone loves the miniskirt. It was so right for the time - that feeling of freedom. I have never claimed to be the sole originator of the miniskirt - that's not how fashion works.'
On the timing of her success:
'I was very lucky, I was at the right place at the right time - there was a burst of energy and ideas in every artistic field. People like Bridget Riley, Terence Conran, David Bailey, Dudley Moore, Peter Hall and John Osborn, to name a few, were exploding with talent, pushing back the boundaries, shocking the establishment, creating waves each in his or her own way.'
Grace Coddington on Mary:
'I liked Mary Quant from the beginning. She took the stuffiness out of fashion. Before she came along everything was very tailored and ladylike, whereas she was very spontaneous - she famously used to run something up on the machine and then rush it over to her shop.'
Jill Kennington on Mary:
'I'm fascinated by mould-breakers like Mary Quant. Her shapes were simple; her patterns were graphic; and her materials allowed you to move. Hers were not clothes for blending in, they were for standing out, being different and young. They were so cool. And she was really fun.'
We send our heartfelt condolences to her family at this time.