Vivienne Westwood, punk fashion designer who first espoused environmentalist cause, leaves us

Renowned fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, queen of punk fashion, passed away yesterday at the age of 81. She is considered one of the most influential fashion designers and activists in the world today.

"December 29, 2022. Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London. Vivienne continued doing what she loved until her last moment, designing, designing, working on her art, writing her book and changing the world for the better. She led an extraordinary existence. His innovation has had an immense impact on the last sixty years and will continue into the future. The world needs people like Vivienne to change for the better," with these words that appeared on the famous fashion designer’s social profiles, news of Vivienne Westwood’s passing, at the age of 81, was announced yesterday.

Queen of punk fashion, she lately considered herself a Taoist: “The spiritual system of Tao. Never before has there been such a need for the Tao. The Dao gives you a sense of belonging to the cosmos and gives purpose to your life. It gives you such a sense of identity and strength that you know you are living the life you can live and therefore should live: make full use of your character and full use of your life on Earth.”

“I will continue with Vivienne in my heart,” said Andreas Kronthaler, the designer’s husband and creative partner. “We worked until the end and she gave me a lot to go on with. Thank you honey.”

Vivienne Westwood began designing in 1971 with her then-partner Malcolm McLaren in London. At the time they used their store at 430 Kings Road in London to showcase their ideas and designs. It was 1976 when Westwood and McLaren defined the Punk street culture. By the late 1970s Vivienne Westwood was already considered a symbol of the British avant-garde, and for Fall/Winter 1981 she had her first runway show at London’s Olympia. In 1989 Vivienne met Andreas Kronthaler, who would later become her husband and design partner, as well as the brand’s creative director. The brand did not just produce clothes and accessories. Westwood continues to capture the imagination and raise awareness of environmental and human rights issues. Vivienne Westwood is recognized as a global brand, and Westwood herself is considered one of the most influential designers and activists in the world today.

Famous are her clothes for the Sex Pistols.
Soon she will officially open the activities of the Vivienne Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to raise awareness about climate change. In fact, Westwood was among the first to espouse the environmentalist cause. Passionate about art, in 2020 she had launched the digital campaign #MirrorTheWorld: an online tour to promote culture through intellectuals and artists from around the world; as the one and only Italian museum venue she had chosen the MANN in Naples for her photo campaign. In 2021 she had made a surprise visit to the Uffizi, being particularly impressed by the works of Andrea del Sarto, Rosso Fiorentino, Pontormo and Veronese, Raphael and Michelangelo, but also by Bronzino’s portrait of Eleonora da Toledo.

Photo by Juergen Teller

Vivienne Westwood, punk fashion designer who first espoused environmentalist cause, leaves us
Vivienne Westwood, punk fashion designer who first espoused environmentalist cause, leaves us

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