Quant, Mary (1934–)
Quant, Mary (1934–)
English designer and entrepreneur. Born Mary Quant, Feb 11, 1934, in Blackheath, London; dau. of Jack and Mildred Quant; attended Goldsmiths College of Art; m. Alexander Plunkett Greene, 1957 (div. 1990); children: Orlando (b. 1970).
Entrepreneur whose perception, business acumen, and interpretation of fashion and design repeatedly revolutionized conventional ideas of style, promotion, and manufacture in several branches of the industrial arts; left school at 16 on winning a scholarship to art school (1950), where she met Alexander Plunkett Greene who would be her life and business partner for over 40 years; ran Bazaar (with Greene and Archie McNair) in King's Road, Chelsea (1955–68); began to design clothes for Bazaar (1956); opened and oversaw 2nd branch in Knightsbridge (1957–69); signed with J. C. Penney (US) to design fashions for their US stores (1962–71); started the Ginger Group (wholesale company) and pioneered use of PVC (oilskin) in fashion rainwear (1963); created exclusive designs for Puritan Fashion and Butterick paper-patterns for home dressmakers (1964); launched Quant hosiery and lingerie line (1965); launched "Mary Quant Cosmetics" (1966); elected Royal Designer for Industry by Royal Society of Arts (1969); her coordinated range of household furnishings and domestic textile designs promoted by ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries, 1970); was a member of Design Council (1971–74) and British-American Liaison Committee (1973); exhibition "Mary Quant's London" at London Museum (1973–74); opened 1st Tokyo "Mary Quant Color Shop" (1983); published Color by Quant (1984) and Quant on Makeup (1986); became co-chair of Mary Quant Group (1991); opened Mary Quant Color Shops in Chelsea and Knightsbridge (both London), as well as Paris (1994–97). Received Order of the British Empire (OBE, 1966); elected to the Hall of Fame British Fashion Council (1990).
See also autobiography Quant on Quant (1966); and Women in World History.