THE TREND: The miniskirt, characterized by a hemline which fell a few inches above the knee (or shorter, if you dared!)
ITS INVENTION: Records state that the miniskirt was first introduced to fashion buyers by French designer André Courrèges in 1964. The above-the-knee skirt was such a novel idea for the time that it was ill-received and not placed in stores for the season.
It would take a British designer named Mary Quant to give the new hemline a name (she named it after her favorite car, the British “mini”) and to give it the marketing momentum it needed to reach the mainstream.
Rather than show the miniskirt to old school fashion buyers, Mary went where the trends were born and onto the mod-culture-immersed streets of London where men and women were already pushing the boundaries of fashion and laying claim to the art of self expression.
Beginning in 1966 every Pretty Young Thing on Kings Road (one of London’s most famous fashion districts) was showing just how sexy the skin above her knee cap could be.
While both André Courrèges and Mary Quant claim that they invented the mini, other records state that John Bates also influenced birth of the idea. Bates was the main designer for UK spy series The Avengers, a show in which the male detective is surrounded by hot female assistants oftentimes costumed to show more skin than smarts.
While Courrèges and Bates may have predicted the future of the skirt, it was Quant that put the “mini” on the market.
ITS INFLUENCE: Every girl reading this right now owns or has owned a miniskirt of her own. Whether it’s formal, fun or funky there’s a style for every woman. The miniskirt undoubtedly influenced the rise in hemline for all of fashion.
Without the birth of the mini, there’d be no Daisy Dukes, hot pants, schoolgirl skirts, babydoll dresses and definitely not a pair of cut-off denim in sight.
The mini was a small piece of fashion that metaphorically speaking, was the biggest idea of its time.