Dame Vivienne Westwood, the pioneering British fashion designer who played a key role in the punk movement, has died in London at the age of 81.
Westwood died“peacefully, surrounded by her family” in Clapham, south London, on Thursday December 29, her representatives said in a statement.
She had continued to do the things she loved, including designing, working on her book and making art, “up until the last moment”, they added.
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. Thank you darling.”
Born in the Derbyshire village of Tintwistle in 1941, Westwood’s family moved to London in 1957, where she attended art school for one term. A self-taught designer with no formal fashion training, Westwood learned how to make clothes as a teenager by following patterns and by taking apart secondhand clothes she found at markets in order to understand the cut and construction.
The pioneering fashion designer made a name for herself on the fashion scene in the 1970s, with her androgynous designs, slogan t-shirts, and irreverent attitude toward the establishment.
She met band manager Malcolm McLaren in the 1960s while working as a primary school teacher after separating from her first husband, Derek Westwood. The pair opened a small shop on Kings Road in Chelsea in 1971 that became a haunt of many of the bands she outfitted, including the Sex Pistols, who were managed by McLaren.
Her designs were regularly worn by high-profile individuals including Dita Von Teese who wore a purple Westwood wedding gown to marry Marilyn Manson, and Princess Eugenie who wore three Westwood designs for various elements of the wedding of William and Kate Middleton.