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Vivienne Westwood

Updated on September 15, 2014
Vivienne Westwood in the 1970s; Photo courtesy of
Vivienne Westwood in the 1970s; Photo courtesy of

Vivienne Westwood is a fashion designer, who is widely regarded as having had a major influence on the fashion of the 1970s punk scene. Her early designs included bondage pants and fetish style latex.

She was born as Vivienne Isabel Swire, on April 8th, 1941, in the village of Tintwistle. At the time, the village was in Cheshire but it is now in Derbyshire.

She married her first husband, Derek Westwood, in 1962. She worked as a primary school teacher, and they had a son, Ben, who was born in 1963.

Vivienne and Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne met Malcolm McLaren, who went on to manage the "Sex Pistols" band. Their relationship developed, and she split from Derek.

In 1971, Vivienne opened her first boutique, in London. As Malcolm started to manage the band, Vivienne gave them their punk "look" with her designs, aided by Malcolm.

Vivienne and Malcolm had a son, Joseph Ferdinand Corré, who was born in 1967.

She collected her OBE from The Queen in 1992, and was made Dame Vivienne Westwood in 2006.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Vivienne Westwood fashion today

Vivienne Westwood has shops and franchises throughout the UK, and several other parts of the world. The company also has a strong on-line presence.

They sell both mens and womens clothing, and also have a range of accessories and jewellery, including watches, for both sexes. They also sell bridal wear.

They have a range of collections, offering varied and distinctive "looks"

Environmental campaigner

Vivienne is also a strong environmental campaigner, drawing attention to climate change and raising awareness about the dangers associated with fracking (hydrolic fracturing).

In July 2014, she made a film for the BBC Politics Show, which ran for just over 2 minutes. This was followed by a short debate with Ken Clarke MP, and Labour Shadow Health Minister Liz Kendall, and can be seen below.

Below is a clip from This is Britain: The Home of British Art, where she talks about two paintings which capture her vision of London.

This is Britain- Vivienne Westwood


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