Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood

Born on 8th April 1941, Dame Vivienne Westwood is an English businesswoman and fashion designer. She is noted for bringing new wave and contemporary punk fashion into the mainstream industry.  She gained publicity when she designed an apparel collection, for Malcolm McLaren’s fashion house. They blended fashion and music to shape the punk scene in the United Kingdom in the 1970s. Later on, she opened shops in London at first and then expanded her business throughout Europe and in some other parts of the world. Her stores sell an array of merchandise and some of the things have political ideas and causes.

She was born in Derbyshire to Gordon and Dora Swire. Vivienne went to Glossop Grammar School. In 1958 when she was seventeen, she moved to London and studied at Harrow School of Art. She then started working in a factory and meanwhile took a teaching course, in order to teach primary school children. Around this time, she designed jewellery herself and sold it on a stall located on Portobello Road.

In 1962, she met Derek Westwood  in Harrow. They married in the same year and Vivienne designed her own wedding gown for the occasion. A year later, their son Benjamin Westwood was born.

Later she connected personally with Malcolm McLaren and moved with him to an apartment in Clapham. She left teaching in 1971 when McLaren made a decision about opening a boutique, Let it Rock, at 430 King’s Road. The name of the store changed every now and then but it was a place where Vivienne began selling her labeled fashion. She created apparel that McLaren envisioned, drawing ideas and inspiration from fetishists, bikers and prostitutes. McLaren at this time became the manager of Sex Pistols, a punk music group. Vivienne Westwood and McLaren garnered much popularity and attention since the band wore their designs. In 1967, the couple brought their son, Joseph Corré, to this world.

Then she married Andreas Kronthaler and moved from council flat to a house in 2000, which was constructed in 1703 and was owned once by Captain Cook’s mother.

Vivienne loves gardening and is not interested in reading newspaper or watching television. She is profoundly interested in punk fashion. This type of style included bondage gear, razor blades, lavatory or bicycle chains, BDSM, dog collars with spikes and outrageous makeup and hair.

She has had some distinguished clients wearing her designs, such as Princess Eugenie wore Vivienne’s label for all the ceremonies at the royal wedding, 2011. Prior to this in 2009, the Duchess of Cornwall wore an apparel design to the Royal Ascot. Moreover, Gwen Stefani has been found wearing the Westwood style.

Vivienne Westwood has not only been an inspiration for other designers but has launched the careers of some designers into the fashion scene of Britain. She employed Patrick Cox in 1984 to design shoe wear for her collection. The result was a prototype of shoes with nine inch heels similar to the one that made Naomi Campbell fall in a Paris fashion show in 1993.

Apart from her love for designing, she is a political activist as well. She has passed statements and has conducted campaigns in support of her political views. She launched t-shirt and baby-wear designs with slogan AM NOT A TERRORIST, please don’t arrest me. She has done many more activities in order to get her views across.


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