I knew that mod 1960s London designer Mary Quant was famous for her boyish shifts and rad Vidal Sassoon haircut. That she may or may not have been responsible for inventing the miniskirt and hot pants. But I did not know that she designed stationery until I found a box of it in somebody's garage here in San Antonio. The design is completely charming—a rainbow landscape rendered pointillist-style—but I had to wonder if this wasn't another one of those cases in which a designer loses the rights to his/her name and some taste-free opportunist starts churning out crap in China under the once-hallowed label (most recently the shoe design geniuses Sigerson Morrison come to mind as victims of this perfidy. Didn't it also happen to Halston and DVF and countless others?).
Anyway, it seems this stationery set is legit, based on what else I'm seeing out there on the internets. Also, according to her Wikipedia entry, Quant devoted the 1970s and 1980s to creating housewares and makeup—she even claims to have invented the duvet. Duvet, stationery, it's all comes from the same place, right? Quant is very much alive and kicking—I think Target should pay her a pot of money to collaborate with them (though after that mostly execrable partnership with Neiman Marcus last Christmas, maybe they're off that whole concept). Still, it seems the perfect match—and I want more of this stationery! It was a total bargain for a buck, but turned out there was only 11 envelopes and two sheets of writing paper (insert sad face here). We forget that once upon a time people actually used their stationery, to you know, write to their friends and stuff.
Quant with husband Alexander Plunket-Greene. Shot for Vogue in 1962 by Brian Duffy.