Fashion Designer Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood was born in Glossop, Derbyshire in 1941 where she lived with her family until they moved to London when Vivienne was 17. She began designing in 1971, with her partner Malcolm McLaren, in London in a shop on Kings Road. The shop’s name changed many times over the next decade, with each name change reflecting a new fashion focus. The store began as ‘Let It Rock’ with fashion that was a throwback to the 1950′s pop icons. In it’s next incarnation, the shop was called ‘Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die’ with clothing that sported many zippers, chains, t-shirts and Zoot Suits. ‘Sex’ came next, with rubber wear for the office, pornographic t-shirts and leather bondage pieces, and was quickly followed by ‘Seditionaries’ with its punk flavor. The shop was finally named ‘World’s End’ in 1976 and the name remains to this day.

By the end of the 1970′s, Westwood was considered avant-garde and in 1981 she presented her first catwalk in London. By 1982 she was showing in Paris and in 1984 she showed her collection in Tokyo as one of the tip 5 designers in the world, along with Calvin Klein, Hanae Mori, Claude Montana and Gianfranco Ferre. 1984 also marked a dramatic change in Westwood’s fashion style from a focus on street and youth culture to the more refined traditional tailoring techniques for which she is known today.

 

 

In 1986 John Fairchild, editor of the influential magazine Women’s Wear Daily, listed Westwood as one of the six most important designers in the world. And in 1990 and 1992 she was awarded the title of the ‘British Designer of the Year.’ Today she continues to oversee her women and men’s lines in addition to launching fragrance and make-up lines.