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Vivienne Westwood

Updated: Feb 12

Vivienne Westwood, also known as the high priestess of punk fashion, was an English fashion designer and businesswoman. She was famous for her bold styles, protests, and inspiration for recent trends. Growing up in Derbyshire, Vivienne’s father worked as a cobbler, and her mother worked in a local cotton mill. When she turned seventeen, her family moved to Middlesex. Here, she worked in a factory but also enrolled in a teacher training school. “I lived in a part of the country that had grown up in the Industrial Revolution… I didn't know about art galleries…I'd never seen an art book, never been to the theatre." She once said. In 1965, she met Malcolm Mclaren when they operated a second-hand clothing store together called “Let it Rock.” Later, they became owners of their own store in London. In 1986 however, their personal and professional relationship fell apart, so Vivienne Westwood rebooted and reinvented herself as an independent designer. Just six years later, in 1992, she was awarded the O.B.E (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) and named the British Designer of the Year.

While Vivienne Westwood’s influence never completely died down, her brand has seen a dramatic resurgence these past couple of years. In 2019, many celebrities, including Bella Hadid and Rowan Blanchard, were seen wearing Vivienne Westwood corsets. Corsets turned into a huge trend. Gen Z has also been known to recycle past trends by thrifting and buying vintage-style clothing. Later in 2020, her mini bas relief choker became extremely famous. Her brand highly supports sustainability and feminism, both topics Generation Z cares about immensely.

Her logo is a combination of British royal iconography and outer space symbolism, which is a perfect reflection of her modern interpretation of the traditional style. Her works often include historical references to Renaissance art and symbolism. Westwood’s vision has become a guidepost with its boldness and meaning.

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