Highsnobiety

On December 29, Vivienne Westwood passed away in her Clapham, London home. She was 81.

To call Vivienne Westwood influential is to understate the immense impact that the designer had upon the fashion industry and all who go against the grain.

Westwood got her start in fashion by not actually getting her start in fashion. In the '70s, Westwood and partner Malcom McLaren — who passed in 2010 — opened the explosive SEX clothing store in London, selling what became known as punk fashion: leather jackets, borderline deconstructed knitwear, bondage pants, and, of course, ripped T-shirts screenprinted with graphics intended to terrify society's staid upper crust.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Nowadays, several of those T-shirt designs issued through Westwood and McLaren's Seditionaries label have inspired plenty of parodies, bootlegs, and homages. Occasionally, Westwood would recreate the early designs produced under Seditionaries, World's End, and her other early labels.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

Westwood and McLaren eventually took their show on the road and began showing their collections in Paris. There, she introduced garments that'd become Vivienne Westwood signatures, including the mini-crini dress, rocking horse shoes, and Buffalo hat, which Pharrell would make viral in 2014.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Twitter post.

Vivienne Westwood collections were fiery condemnations of conformity and convention, deconstructing Paris' stuffy runways with punkish flair. It's safe to say that Westwood at least partially blazed the way for the next several generations of enfants terrible, like Alexander McQueen and COMME des GARÇONS founder Rei Kawakubo.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this YouTube video.

Kawakubo admired Westwood plenty: they collaborated on a line of clothing in 2003 and Kawakubo's Dover Street Market stores have previously stocked both A Child of the Jago, the clothing line founded by Westwood and McLaren's son Joseph Corré, and the recent Vivienne Westwood x ASICS line.

Your Highsnobiety privacy settings have blocked this Instagram post.

In recent years, Westwood ceded design direction of her eponymous label to husband Andreas Kronthaler, who will continue overseeing the Vivienne Westwood brand.

Not that she was resting on her laurels in the meantime: Westwood remained a devoted activist until the end, calling for more attention to climate change and the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, to whom she dedicated the Spring/Summer 2017 Vivienne Westwood collection.

"Capitalism is a crime. It is the root cause of war, climate change, and corruption," Westwood said before her passing. "This is a war for the very existence of the human race. And that of the planet. The most important weapon we have is public opinion. Become a freedom fighter."

We Recommend
  • Young Designers Are Promoting Climate Consciousness Beyond Earth Day
    • Style
  • Caitlin Clark's First Fashion Deal Has Fans Waiting (& Guessing)
    • Style
  • We Rounded up This Season's Wildest Sunglasses
    • Style
  • German Football Switching From adidas to Nike Is a Big Deal
    • Style
  • Story mfg. Is Doing Fashion the Right Way
    • Style
What To Read Next
  • Merrell's Killer Clog Makes for a Pretty Amazing Boot
    • Style
  • This Ultra-Tough HOKA Shoe Is Secretly a Slip-On Sneaker
    • Sneakers
  • This Genius ASICS Sneaker Wears a Scuff-Proof Shield
    • Sneakers
  • UGG's Ultra-Thicc New Trail Sneaker Has Steezy Skate Shoe Energy
    • Sneakers
  • Sack and The City: The Marc Jacobs Bag Defining Hot Girl Summer
    • Style
    • sponsored
  • New Balance's Chunkiest-Ever Running Shoe Goes Full HOKA
    • Sneakers
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titel Media GmbH (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titel Media GmbH strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titel Media GmbH tests, remediates and maintains the Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.