The Twiggy clothing range came about when Lesley Hornby, who became known to the world as Twiggy, was asked in September 1966 to launch her own label by a well-known dress manufacturer.
The range was heavily influenced by Quant and Courreges, featured acid-drop colours and fabulous daisy prints, and had a distinct retro feel influenced by the styles of the Roaring Twenties that Twiggy had such a love of. Twiggy: “I dress very strangely some times and the things that suit me wouldn’t suit everyone else. So things have to be adapted and sometimes toned down to make them commercial.”
The range was launched to the Press in November 1966 via a range of photographs taken by Barry Lategan (whose photo had launched her career as “the face of ’66”), an advertising campaign using the slogan “it’s a twiggy world”, and amazingly Twiggy’s only catwalk modelling. Twiggy: “In those days you didn’t do both and the top girls were photographic models only. Given the fact that nothing ever fitted me (what you don’t see in the photographs is the bulldog clips and safety pins at the back) its a good thing. But the Twiggy Dresses were made with me in mind.” The range was highly priced, ranging between 6 and 12 guineas at a time when a decent high street skirt would be 50 shillings. Apart from the famous celebrity behind the expensive label, an added sales technique was the unusual “portrait hanger” that came free with every piece of clothing.
At the start of 1967, 150 outlets in the USA had expressed an interest in the clothing range so long as Twiggy herself was part of the package, so she headed over to the US to launch the range over there and her visit was turned into a series of three documentaries for ABC Television (“Twiggy In New York”, “Twiggy In Hollywood” and “Twiggy, Why?”) A million dollars of orders were placed in one afternoon before Twiggy had even left New York, but due to there being no American manufacturers backing the label, pirated copies flooded the market before the company could supply it’s huge US market. In 1968 Twiggy visited Munich to launch the label in Germany.
As well as the Twiggy Dresses range numerous other Twiggy items were launched, including Hampton Trimfit’s “Twiggy Hosiery” in 1967 and Yardley’s “Twiggy Lashes” and “Twiggy Eye Paint”.
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