John Mollo was born in London in 1939. He was educated at Charterhouse, and did his National Service with the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. He developed a strong interest in the study of military history and costume, and in 1965, was asked to work for the director Tony Richardson as historical adviser on the film The Charge of the Light Brigade. Since then his film credits as costume designer/military advisor have included The Adventures of Brigadier Gerard, Nicholas and Alexandra, Barry Lyndon, Star Wars (for which he received an Academy Award), Alien, The Empire Strikes Back, Outland, Gandhi (for which he received a second Academy Award), Greystoke, King David, Revolution, Cry Freedom, Chaplin, and more recently, Sharpe's Rifles, The Three Musketeers and Jungle Book.
John Mollo passed away in December 2017 at the age of 86. His obituary was published in the Telegraph.