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Legendary fashion designer Vivienne Westwood dies at 81

LONDON, UK – Vivienne Westwood, a pioneer in the fashion business, has passed away at the age of 81.

Westwood is best renowned for her cutting-edge, avant-garde designs, which in the 1970s served to define the punk movement. She was also a strong supporter of social and environmental concerns, utilising her platform to voice her opinions on matters like climate change and human rights.

Westwood, who was born in Glossop, England in 1941, started out as a primary school teacher before deciding to pursue a career in fashion design. In 1971, she founded her first store, “Let It Rock,” which eventually went by the name “Sex” and served as a focal point for London’s punk culture. Westwood’s designs were worn by royalty and celebrities in the 1980s, which helped her work become more well-known.

Westwood persevered in staying true to her roots and pushing the limits of fashion despite her popularity. She was renowned for using unusual materials in her collections, like paper and plastic that had been recycled. She also utilised her fashion displays to express her political views, frequently mixing anarchist and anti-establishment themes into her creations.

Throughout her career, Vivienne Westwood worked with a variety of well-known people in both the fashion and non-fashion fields. She collaborated with a number of well-known celebrities, including:

  • Kanye West: For Kanye West’s Yeezus tour in 2013, Westwood created the stage attire.
  • Naomi Campbell: Westwood created several looks for Campbell, including the dress she wore to the 1997 Met Gala in black and gold.

Collaborations with these and other celebrities helped Westwood become even more well-known and established her position as a key player in the fashion world.

Westwood had an impact beyond of the fashion world. She was an outspoken supporter of environmental concerns and a donor to groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. She also backed organisations that promote human rights, such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Campaign. Westwood was named a Dame in 2006 for her advocacy and contributions to fashion.

The fashion icon’s impact on activism and fashion will endure for a long time. Both the fashion industry and those who knew her will miss her dearly.