British designer Vivienne Westwood passed away on Thursday, December 29 at the age of 81. A tweet from her esteemed namesake fashion house shared that she transitioned “peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London.” The brand further said, “Vivienne continued to do the things she loved, up until the last moment, designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better. She led an amazing life. Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future.”
Her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said, “I will continue with Vivienne in my heart. We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with.”
In the 1970’s, Westwood’s rise to fame came from her controversial punk and new wave styles worn by various icons of fashion. Androgynous designs, t-shirts met with slogans, and disparaging regards toward the establishment all represent the culmination of her remarkable career.
In 2006, Westwood was named a Dame for her devoted activism and gracious ability to bring the causes of her heart, like climate change and ecological crusading, to the runway.
Born Vivienne Isabel Swire on April 8, 1941, in the English town of Glossop in Derbyshire, Westwood came from humble beginnings. Her father was a cobbler, while her mother helped the family keep ends meet by working at a local cotton mill. Vivienne worked as a primary school teacher before the opening of her and former her former partner’s clothing shop named Let It Rock in Chelsea.
Brilliantly creative and a legend of style, Westwood will be remembered for her enormous contributions and her resilient spirit.