It’s rare for someone brilliant to be at the right place at the right time. Mary Quant had the fortune of innovating a new generation of style at the perfect moment: The 60s. Quant’s fresh approach to fashion didn’t just spawn the mini skirt, but mirrored an entirely new view on how women chose to dress–not for others, but for themselves.
In addition to the mini skirt, Quant also popularized hot pants (no easy feat, mind you). But, like Chanel before her, it wasn’t entirely about the fashion creations so much as what they stood for. The 60s in London and New York were an inimitable time for self-expression through style. Quant saw the opportunity to capitalize on the liberated, actualized philosophy that was bubbling to the surface.
The symbolism of what a mini skirt represents has never been recaptured in fashion. Its essence says: I am free. The shortness in length not only allows for freedom of movement, but also the radiation of an attitude. Women who wore mini skirts were unafraid and unapologetic about who they were.
While many have tried to discredit Quant for taking ownership of “inventing” the mini skirt, it wasn’t until she came along that anyone took notice of the style. Her designs were fresh and courageous, two adjectives that women craved during a decade of revolution and uncertainty. Even though Quant never seemed to impress the fashion world half as much as she did with her mini skirt (except for those hot pants in the latter part of the 60s), she didn’t need to. Quant said it all with one garment.