SOMETHING ABOUT MARY: London has honored retailer and designer Dame Mary Quant with a blue plaque outside 138A King’s Road in London, the original site of her first boutique Bazaar, which opened in 1955.
The plaque’s unveiling, which took place during London Fashion Week, was led by Orlando Plunket Greene, Mary Quant’s son.
The designer, synonymous with Swinging Sixties London, famously embraced youth culture and made fashion more accessible to women, with modern styles and large-scale production methods. She was a pioneer of the miniskirt and of HotPants, which radically changed women’s attitude to dress and their own sexuality.
At the time of the shop’s opening and in the ensuing years, the King’s Road became a mecca of youth culture and style, with local stores dressing Mods, Punks, Sloanes and New Romantics. “Chelsea ceased to be a small part of London; it became international; its name interpreted a way of living and a way of dressing,” said Mary Quant, reminiscing about her initial years at Bazaar.
A major retrospective of Quant’s work is on display at London’s Victoria and Albert museum, and explores how her creative style evolved. It also looks at her intelligent use of marketing to build a global lifestyle brand.
Quant’s influence lives on: This week, the young London brand Rixo showcased its spring 2020 collection at its stand-alone store further down on the King’s Road. While the brand did not explicitly mention a specific designer as reference, the collection clearly took some inspiration from Mary Quant.
Although the days of Bazaar on the King’s Road are over and a trendy juice bar is now located on the premises.