Vivienne Westwood dies aged 81 as tributes pour in for fashion designer – live

Dame Vivienne Westwood has died aged 81.

The British fashion designer died peacefully surrounded by her family in Clapham, South London on Thursday, a statement from her representatives said.

Her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said, “I will continue with Vivienne in my heart. We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you darling.”

The brand also shared a statement to social media, writing, “​​Vivienne continued to do the things she loved, up until the last moment, designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better.”

“She led an amazing life. Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future,” the caption read.

Vivienne Westwood rose to prominence in the fashion world during the 1970s, and is often credited with bringing punk fashion into the mainstream. Westwood began as the co-owner of the clothing boutique, SEX, which she co-owned along with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren.

The store became a meeting ground for early members of the London punk scene. Soon, her creations were worn by bands like the Sex Pistols, and influenced the style of punk icons like Viv Albertine of the Slits.

Many celebrities, designers, and fashion lovers have since paid tribute to Westwood following the announcement of her death. The official accounts for Burberry and Jacquemus responded to the Instagram announcement with a single heart emoji, while fellow designer Christopher John Rogers expressed his condolences, writing, “Thank you for everything.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Vivienne Westwood was a creative icon who helped cement the UK at the very forefront of modern fashion. My thoughts are with her family and friends.”

Vivienne Westwood dies aged 81

  • Westwood died peacefully surrounded by her family in Clapham, South London on Thursday

  • Westwood rose to fashion prominence during the punk movement of the 1970s

  • Many celebrities and fashion lovers have paid tribute to Westwood following her death

23:30 , Meredith Clark

In addition to her climate activism, Westwood was also a supporter of WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange.

In 2020, Westwood protested Assange’s extradition to the United States by wearing a bright yellow suit and locking climbing inside a cage.

She told journalists she chose yellow because canaries could detect poisonous gases in mines. “If the canary died they all got out. Julian Assange is in a cage and he needs to get out. Don’t extradite to America.

Speaking into a megaphone, Westwood led protesters chanting “Free Julian Assange” outside the Old Bailey in central London. “This is the most important thing in the world,” she said. “Don’t extradite Assange - it’s a stitch-up.”

Vivienne Westwood suspends herself in giant birdcage to protest Julian Assange's US extradition

23:15 , Meredith Clark

Westwood dedicated much of her later career to activism. The designer once spoke about moving beyond fashion to focus on matters more close to her heart, like environmentalism.

In 2014, Westwood told The Guardian that “climate change, not fashion” is her number one priority.

The designer was also a major advocate against fracking. In 2018, Westwood staged anti-fracking protest at London Fashion Week with signs that read “Frack off”.

Vivienne Westwood stages anti-fracking protest at London Fashion Week

23:00 , Meredith Clark

The Victoria and Albert Museum has described Westwood as a “true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion”.

“We are saddened to learn about the passing of legendary designer Vivienne Westwood,” the official Twitter account for the museum said on Thursday.

“A true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion.”

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22:45 , Meredith Clark

London mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed his condolences after the passing of Dame Vivienne Westwood.

“Vivienne Westwood was a creative icon who helped cement the UK at the very forefront of modern fashion,” Khan tweeted on Thursday.

“My thoughts are with her family and friends.”

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22:30 , Meredith Clark

Westwood’s passing has been met with an outpouring of condolences and tributes from her peers.

The official Instagram accounts for Burberry and Jacquemus responded to the announcement with a single heart emoji.

TV presenter Jonathan Ross paid tribute to the designer, writing: “RIP the great Vivienne Westwood. Unique. Brilliant. Uncompromising. Thanks Viv x.”

Christopher John Rogers wrote, “Thank you for everything,” while designer Pam Hogg described the news as “devastating”.

Celebrities and fashion figures pay tribute to Vivienne Westwood after death

22:15 , Meredith Clark

Vivienne Westwood rose to prominence in the fashion industry during the 1970s.

She is credited with bringing the style of the London punk scene to the mainstream fashion world, with her androgynous fashion designs, slogan t-shirts and irreverent attitude towards the establishment.

The British designer is also responsible for some of fashion’s most famous designs, including Carrie Bradshaw’s bridal dress in the 2008 Sex And The City film.

Read more here.

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood dies, aged 81

22:06 , Meredith Clark

Along with the announcement of her death, the brand shared a quote from Westwood, who considered herself a Taoist.

“Tao spiritual system. There was never more need for the Tao today,” Westwood once wrote. “Tao gives you a feeling that you belong to the cosmos and gives purpose to your life; it gives you such a sense of identity and strength to know you’re living the life you can live and therefore ought to be living: make full use of your character and full use of your life on earth.”

Westwood has also become known as an activist, having staged public protests to raise awareness around causes close to her heart, including fracking and Julian Assange.

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22:02 , Meredith Clark

Vivienne Westwood died on Thursday, 29 December aged 81.

The statement from her representatives said Westwood “died peacefully surrounded by her family in Clapham, South London.”

Her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said: “I will continue with Vivienne in my heart. We have been working until the end and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you darling.”

Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood dies, aged 81