Legendary fashion designer and rebel dies at 81.
News of Dame Vivienne Westwood’s passing floods social media and was confirmed by her own accounts on December 29, 2022.
The post reads that she was in the company of her family in Clapham, South London during her final moments.
29th December 2022.
Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London.
The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better. pic.twitter.com/YQwVixYUrV
— Vivienne Westwood (@FollowWestwood) December 29, 2022
Various online tributes have been pouring in since the news broke. On Twitter, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, where some of the designer’s works are found, described her as “A true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion.”
We are saddened to learn about the passing of legendary designer Vivienne Westwood. A true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion. pic.twitter.com/4ECNWpAarn
— V&A (@V_and_A) December 29, 2022
UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Michelle Donelan also offered her tribute calling it a “sad day,” adding that Westwood “will remain a towering figure in British fashion.”
A sad day, Vivienne Westwood was and will remain a towering figure in British fashion. Her punk style rewrote the rule book in the 1970s, and was widely admired for how she stayed true to her own values throughout her life. https://t.co/NKJXRoFsIi
— Michelle Donelan MP (@michelledonelan) December 29, 2022
Boy George expressed his love, referring to Westwood as the “Queen of British fashion.”
R.I.P to the great and inspiring Vivienne Westwood who lead us through punk and beyond.
Laughed at by the fashion industry but without question she is the undisputed Queen of British fashion. I love you! Oh bondage up yours! pic.twitter.com/O6RZqpEVLq
— Boy George (@BoyGeorge) December 29, 2022
On Instagram, model Bella Hadid posted photos of her with Westwood throughout her career. Hadid wrote “I will forever be grateful to have been in your orbit, because to me and most, in fashion and in humanity, you, Vivienne, were the sun.”
Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, also took to Instagram to pay tribute to the designer. He remembers her as “a true icon of British fashion and an irreplaceable force in the industry.”
Fellow fashion designer, Marc Jacobs, expressed his shock and heartbreak at Westwood’s passing. He addressed Westwood on his personal Instagram account saying “You did it first. Always. Incredible style with brilliant and meaningful substance. I continue to learn from your words, and all of your extraordinary creations.”
Life and legacy
Vivienne Westwood was born in Derbyshire, England on April 8, 1941. She worked as a primary school teacher, creating her own jewelry on the side, before she and Malcolm McLaren set up their boutique Sex.
When McLaren became the manager for the Sex Pistols, he and Westwood garnered attention for their edgy designs, worn by the band members.
As the queen of punk, Westwood once said “I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the system in some way.”
Following numerous successful collections and fashion shows, Westwood has also been known for being an outspoken activist, championing sustainability and climate change awareness.
From the ripped up clothes, chains, and bondage designs of the punk scene, to wedding dresses and high fashion, Westwood has never shied away from being political.
She has proved, time and time again, that fashion is a revolution.
Banner photo via Instagram @viviennewestwood.