50 Facts About Vivienne Westwood


Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood was an English fashion designer and businesswoman, largely responsible for bringing modern punk and new wave fashions into the mainstream.


Vivienne Westwood viewed punk as a way of "seeing if one could put a spoke in the system".


Vivienne Westwood opened four shops in London and eventually expanded throughout Britain and the world, selling a varied range of merchandise, some of which promoted her political causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups.


Vivienne Westwood was born in the village of Tintwistle, Cheshire, on 8 April 1941.


Vivienne Westwood was the daughter of Gordon Swire and Dora Swire, who had married two years previously, two weeks after the outbreak of the Second World War.


Vivienne Westwood took a jewelry and silversmith course at the University of Westminster, then known as the Harrow Art School, but left after one term, saying: "I didn't know how a working-class girl like me could possibly make a living in the art world".


Vivienne Westwood and McLaren moved to Thurleigh Court in Balham, where their son Joseph Corre was born in 1967.


Vivienne Westwood continued to teach until 1971 and created clothes which McLaren designed.


Vivienne Westwood was one of the architects of the punk fashion phenomenon of the 1970s, saying "I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the system in some way".


Vivienne Westwood's designs were independent and represented a statement of her own values.


Vivienne Westwood collaborated on occasion with Gary Ness, who assisted Westwood with inspirations and titles for her collections.


From 1985 to 1987, Vivienne Westwood took inspiration from the ballet Petrushka to design the mini-crini, an abbreviated version of the Victorian crinoline.


In 2007, Vivienne Westwood was approached by the Chair of King's College London, Patricia Rawlings, to design an academic gown for the college after it had successfully petitioned the Privy Council for the right to award degrees.


In 2008, the Vivienne Westwood-designed academic dresses for King's College were unveiled.


In July 2011, Vivienne Westwood's collections were presented at The Brandery fashion show in Barcelona.


Vivienne Westwood worked closely with Richard Branson to design uniforms for the Virgin Atlantic crew.


In March 2012, Vivienne Westwood Group reached agreement to end a long-standing UK franchise relationship with Manchester-based Hervia, which operated seven stores for the fashion chain.


The deal brought to a conclusion a legal dispute, which included Hervia issuing High Court proceedings for alleged breach of contract, after Vivienne Westwood sought to end the franchise deal before the agreed term.


Shortly after, Vivienne Westwood announced she would cease further expansion of her business as a way of tackling environmental and sustainability issues.


Latimo, which Vivienne Westwood controlled as the majority shareholder in her companies, was set up in 2002.


Vivienne Westwood's name is mention multiple times making Vivienne Westwood synonymous with Nana.


The suit that Vivienne Westwood wore had been ordered for Thatcher but not yet delivered.


In September 2005, Vivienne Westwood joined forces with the British civil rights group Liberty and launched exclusive limited design T-shirts and baby wear bearing the slogan I AM NOT A TERRORIST, please don't arrest me.


Vivienne Westwood said she was supporting the campaign and defending habeas corpus.


Vivienne Westwood stated on television in 2007 that she had transferred her long-standing support for the Labour Party to the Conservatives, due to concerns about civil liberties and human rights.


Vivienne Westwood appeared in a PETA ad campaign to promote World Water Day and vegetarianism, drawing attention to the meat industry's water consumption.


In 2014, Vivienne Westwood bought a controlling interest in the equity crowdfunding platform Trillion Fund, which was dissolved in 2019.


In January 2015, Vivienne Westwood stated her support of the Green Party: "I am investing in the Green Party because I believe it is in the best interests of our country and our economy".


In February 2015, Vivienne Westwood was announced as the special guest on the Greens' We Are The Revolution campaigning tour of English universities in such cities as Liverpool, Norwich, Brighton and Sheffield.


Vivienne Westwood later condemned this as "a wasted opportunity" for the Greens.


Subsequently, Vivienne Westwood switched her support to campaigning on behalf of Nigel Askew, the 'We are the Reality Party' candidate opposing UKIP leader Nigel Farage in the Kent constituency of Thanet South.


In June 2017, Vivienne Westwood endorsed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for the 2017 general election.


Later, Vivienne Westwood created a manifesto called Active Resistance to Propaganda, which she said deals with the pursuit of art in relation to the human predicament and climate change.


Vivienne Westwood's manifesto was criticized by eco-activists who claimed that despite her calls to save the environment, she herself made no concessions to making her clothing or her business eco-friendly.


Vivienne Westwood was a longtime supporter of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, and called for his release from custody.


In June 2013, Vivienne Westwood dedicated one of her collections to Chelsea Manning and at her fashion show she and all her models wore large image badges of Manning with the word "Truth" under her picture.


Vivienne Westwood visited him several times during his political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and in Belmarsh Prison after his arrest in April 2019.


In 2013, sustainable luxury fashion publication Eluxe Magazine accused Vivienne Westwood of using the green movement as a marketing tool because some of Vivienne Westwood's fashion and accessories lines are made in the People's Republic of China.


Eluxe accused Vivienne Westwood of using unpaid interns in her fashion house and making them work over 40 hours per week and wrote that some interns complained about their treatment by the fashion house.


Vivienne Westwood was a noted author or co-author of books, such as Fashion in Art: The Second Empire and Impressionism, in which she explored the worlds of fashion and the arts and the links between them.


Vivienne Westwood Opus 2008 limited edition was published for London Fashion Week 2008, documents Westwood's work and is a unique work of art.


Vivienne Westwood received her medal from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace; at the ceremony, Westwood wore nothing but sheer tights with a reinforced bikini top under her skirt, which was later captured by a photographer in the courtyard of the Palace.


Vivienne Westwood was awarded a Fellowship at King's College London in 2007, and in 2008 she designed 20 new academic gowns and hoods for King's students to wear at their graduation ceremonies.


Also in 2012, Vivienne Westwood was chosen as one of The New Elizabethans to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.


In 2018, a documentary film about Vivienne Westwood, called Vivienne Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist, premiered.


Ben Vivienne Westwood was born on 1963 and is her son with first husband Derek Vivienne Westwood; he is a photographer of erotica.


Vivienne Westwood's second son, Joseph Corre was born on 1967 and with second husband Malcolm McLaren, is the founder of lingerie brand Agent Provocateur.


Vivienne Westwood married her former fashion student, Andreas Kronthaler, in 1992.


Vivienne Westwood died in Clapham, London, on 29 December 2022, at age 81.


The National Portrait Gallery holds 18 images of Vivienne Westwood taken between 1990 and 2014, including those by Mario Testino, Jane Bown, Juergen Teller, Anne-Katrin Purkiss, and Martin Parr.