Icon: British fashion designer Mary Quant is dead

British fashion designer Mary Quant is dead.

Icon: British fashion designer Mary Quant is dead

British fashion designer Mary Quant is dead. She died peacefully at home on Thursday morning at the age of 93, the British news agency PA reported, citing a statement by the family.

"Dame Mary, 93, was one of the most famous fashion designers of the 20th century and a prominent pioneer of the 'Swinging Sixties,'" the family said in a statement. Quant is survived by a son, three grandchildren and her brother Tony Quant. Her husband Alexander Plunket Greene died in 1990.

Quant was born in south-east London on February 11, 1930 to two Welsh teachers and dreamed of becoming a designer. A dance student inspired her to create her classic outfit, which later became the look of a whole generation with the model Twiggy (actually: Lesley Lawson): Skin-tight black sweater with a super-short pleated skirt, deep black tights and a bob haircut. In addition, big doe eyes with lots of mascara.

First store opened at age 21

Quant began sewing clothes for himself from bedspreads and school uniforms and studied at the prestigious Goldsmiths College in London. There she met her future husband and business partner, Alexander Plunket Greene.

At 21, Quant opened her first shop on London's famous King's Road to sell clothes and accessories to the fashionable. With no one designing the clothes she envisioned, she began producing fashion herself. She named the mini skirt after her favorite car, the Mini Cooper.

This sexy skirt length wasn't new, but its trendy designs quickly caught on on the streets of the fashion capitals of London and New York. Because it was important to her to make clothing affordable, she even published the patterns of her designs. Her fashion represented women's liberation, economic prosperity and fun. Quant is considered one of the most influential names on the fashion scene in the 1960s. In 1966 she was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her contribution to the fashion industry.

From hot pants to mini skirts

Mary Quant's look was based on simple shapes and bold statements. She combined the beatnik style of the late 50s with strong colors and short skirt lengths. Hotpants, Peter Pan collars, colorful tights and PVC raincoats appeared again and again in their collections alongside miniskirts.