Sixties Fashion Icons

Laura Tolentino

Cher fashion icon

Cher fashion iconEdie Sedgwick’s androgynous style or Brigitte Bardot’s iconic beehive hair helped define sixties fashion icons like Edie Sedgwick or Brigitte Bardot as fashion leaders of their respective decades. Wearing everything from matching skirt suits and coats with vibrant prints, to beehive hairdos – these women set trends that were sure to lead the pack during that decade.

Mary Quant, known as the ‘High Priestess of Sixties Fashion,’ revolutionised wardrobes worldwide with her shop on London’s King’s Road by popularizing miniskirts, colorful tights, and plastic macs from this decade’s fashion renaissance.

Mary Quant

Mary Quant, known as the “mother of the miniskirt”, revolutionized fashion through her playful, youthful aesthetic that took its cue from street style instead of Paris ateliers. Her first collections were heavily influenced by London’s 1950s Mod scene with its love for Italian sportswear and sharp tailoring; these were then applied by Quant to make clothing pieces which could be worn both around the house and out for a quick run to catch their bus – something which appealed to younger women according to Victoria & Albert Museum research.

She opened Bazaar on the King’s Road in Chelsea in 1955, selling an eclectic assortment of clothes and accessories ranging from short skirts and pinafore dresses with Peter Pan collars, striped jersey tops, candy-colored tights, bright make-up and plastic macs to short skirts with Peter Pan collars and hot pants – an invention she herself made famous.

Ginger Group for the UK market made her a household name in Britain, where she became popular for her short overall dresses, red plastic mackintoshes with white collars and tights, berets and berets. Other sixties fashion icons included Pattie Boyd who was known for wearing her sleeveless shift dresses with boots while sporting long, thick mane of hair.

Jackie Onassis

Jackie Onassis paved the way for modern First Ladies like Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron with her iconic prim skirt suits, pillbox hats, dark glasses and chic string of pearls – she served as style inspiration to women across America.

Throughout the ’60s, women with creative minds challenged traditional clothing rules with boundary-pushing fashion choices. Ranging from paisley patterns to minidresses and Go-Go boots, these sixties fashion icons brought new looks to some of its key trends.

Mary Quant, widely considered the ‘High Priestess of Sixties Fashion,’ created many iconic styles during that era, including the miniskirt, patterned tights and plastic macs that she popularised at her London shop Bazaar. Additionally, she pioneered casual wear – wearing knitted jumpers with contrast trims or wearing short shift dresses with short shift dresses boasting different trims.

Cher, with her signature bangs and kohl-rimmed eyes, was an instant sixties icon. Her range of attire included wide flared trousers to mod skirts; she rocked a beehive like no other girl group could. Sonny and Cher’s Californian flair combined with their love of bold prints made Cher an irresistibly fashionable figure during that era.


Cher (real name Cherilyn Sarkisian) became the embodiment of sexuality during the 1960s with her elegant yet sensuous blunt bangs and kohl-rimmed eyes. Sonny and Cher’s counterpart donned everything from mod dresses to wide leg pants with Californian flair – as well as beehive hairstyles from time to time! Cher was an icon.

Audrey Hepburn was known for her style throughout her lifetime, but the release of Breakfast at Tiffany’s cemented her legacy as an icon. The black dress worn in that film became iconic for 1960s fashion alongside turtlenecks, ballet flats and wide-brimmed hats she favored in its setting.

Brigitte Bardot became the epitome of French fashion during the ’60s with her sleek yet seductive appearance and trademark bob. Her iconic image made her one of France’s foremost style icons in that decade.

Catherine Deneuve’s sexy roles and chic, minimalist style made her a beloved icon of the ’60s. She donned a black minidress in Belle de Jour and worked drainpipe jeans and Go-Go boots off camera, becoming an icon for women alike. Also notable in this era was Yves Saint Laurent – known for sleek figure-hugging fashion with bold prints beloved even today by famous women like Gigi Hadid and Ariana Grande who still wear his designs; taking cues from these icons can easily help create classic sixties style!

Catherine Deneuve

Deneuve is considered an icon of sixties mod fashion and one of the first international it girls; her iconic 60s mod look remains popular today (her signature pixie crop is still an essential component). As one of Yves Saint Laurent’s favorite models, Deneuve epitomised this movement in terms of clothing style. As one of his muses she had an undeniably unique 60s mod look that became one of its hallmarks.

Her acting career began in 1957 with an appearance in Andre Hunebelle’s comedy drama Les Collegiennes, followed by roles in Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour (1966) and Jacques Demy’s musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964). However, Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965), in which she plays an icy femme fatale role made her an international icon.

Deneuve was known for her signature look – comprising tailored coats, elegant dresses and classic accessories in an outfit known as her signature look – which became timeless and sophisticated. As the face of Chanel No 5, perfume sales in America soared through her association. Additionally she featured in films like Claude Miller’s romantic comedy The April Fools with Jack Lemmon (1969) and Burt Reynolds’ crime thriller Hustle (1975). Outside film she also supported various charities such as Children Action, Orphelins Roumains and Handicap International.

Nancy Sinatra

Nancy Sinatra established a successful musical career outside her father’s empire. However, she is most remembered for the iconic white go-go boots worn in her music video for “These Boots Are Made for Walkin.” These iconic footwear characterized a new generation of sexy mod girls in the late sixties.

Sinatra initially gained an early edge through her nepotistic connections when she made her debut in 1960 on The Frank Sinatra Timex Special show, yet early singles failed to propel her to the top of the charts. Thanks to Lee Hazlewood and their subsequent duets (such as Summer Wine and Some Velvet Morning) Sinatra proved she wasn’t just an impersonation puppet.

At the request of her daughter A.J. Azzarto, Nancy returned to recording studio in 2004 with various contemporary indie rock musicians to record an album simply entitled Nancy. Contributions by such notables as Morrissey, Jarvis Cocker and members of U2 and Calexico helped reposition her among a younger generation of music lovers.

Marianne Faithfull

British singer-songwriter who first gained recognition as Mick Jagger’s muse has had several brush with death during her 74 years. Now she’s back with a spoken-word album of Romantic poetry with Nick Cave ally Warren Ellis providing atmospheric soundscapes.

This collection presents texts by Wordsworth, Byron and Keats whose bittersweet subject matter encompasses every facet of human experience – from exhilarating joys of discovery to regret and disappointments in old age. Faithfull’s subtle readings highlight these poems’ lyrical beauty while longtime collaborator Mark Howard creates a professional production.

Faithfull’s fashion reflected her tomboyish edge and playful boho allure, featuring mini dresses, fur coats, and structured capes that perfectly showcased her tomboyish appeal and playful bohemian allure. Faithfull was also known for her striking Afro hairstyle and striking kohl-lined eyes – something else which made her stand out amongst her peers.

More recently, her ethereal beauty has inspired the collections of French fashion house Chloe. Designer Clare Waight Keller captured this spirit through floaty floral print dresses and flowing bohemian skirts for this season.

Marsha Hunt

Marsha Hunt was discovered by Paramount while still studying at DePauw University but never rose to become one of Hollywood’s premier lovelies. With her slim frame and genuine sexual attraction, Marsha would have made for one of its top leading ladies; unfortunately she was often restricted to playing sweet, ingenue roles instead.

Hunt was also an outspoken activist for civil rights, mental health issues and women’s issues; writing her book Fashion in 1993; she currently resides in Sherman Oaks California where she serves on the Advisory Board for San Fernando Valley Community Mental Health Center.

Marc Bolan and the Rolling Stones were big influences, which can explain her love for rock ‘n’ roll dresses. She first donned one for Rolling Stone magazine’s cover shot in 1966 before donning more daring styles nude for Irving Penn and Helmut Newton photographers. Jean Shrimpton broke molds as another super-slender model paving the way for free-spirited waifs like Twiggy and Penelope Tree, who both rocked elfin crop hairstyles which defined sixties fashion photography.