a monthly look at the faces that have made history

Mary Quant

Even without her wildly popular, provocative designs, Mary Quant would have set London swinging. As much as any of the women who lined up outside the Kings Road shop for her boyish, body-skimming shifts and clingy knits, Quant embodied the era's exuberant out-with-the-old feeling. She and her husband club-hopped with artists and musicians, hosted wild parties in their mod Chelsea apartment and, almost incidentally, built an empire based on free-spirited fashion. Not for her the overwrought beehives and fussy bouffants of the previous era. Like a Jaguar convertible, she needed to be streamlined for speed—hence the dramatic, angular bob created for her by Vidal Sassoon, which became her signature (and helped make his name). Forty years on, Quant—and her cut—still look fresh.

—Janet Ozzard
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