University of Westminster
1991 - British Fashion Designer of the Year
2006 - British Fashion Designer of the Year
Vivienne Westwood is a legendary British fashion designer who made an immense contribution to the field of international fashion and style. In a career span of over 34 years, Westwood is one of the most influential and respected designers in the fashion industry. Her untiringly individualistic designs are symbols of potent originality and also exhibit elements of punk style. She brought back the punk movement and integrated it into mainstream fashion. Considered one of the world’s most unique and outspoken fashion designers, Westwood has also designed for the British Royalty including Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, the second wife of the Prince of Wales, Charles and Princess Eugenie of York. She has also designed for actress Cameron Diaz and artist Tracey Emin. She has established herself as one of the most commercially successful designers in the world and her label ‘The Vivienne Westwood’ has been launched across various countries. She also has her own range of perfumes, accessories and a wide array of other merchandise that is sold all across the globe. To learn more interesting facts about her childhood, personal life and achievements in the field of fashion, scroll down and continue to read this biography.
- She was born as Vivienne Isabel Swire in Tintwistle, Derbyshire to Gordon Swire, a greengrocer and storekeeper and Dora Swire.She graduated from the Glossop Grammar School and in 1958, when her family relocated to London; she attended the Harrow School of Art at Westminster University, where she studied fashion and silversmithing for a term, after which she dropped out of college.After leaving college, she went on to work at a factory and later attended a teachers training college and subsequently became a primary school teacher.Career
- In 1971, she designed clothes for Malcolm McLaren’s boutique ‘430 King's Road’ and their designs gained mainstream attention, after the band ‘Sex Pistols’ flaunted their designs.In 1981, ‘430 King's Road’ showcased its designs for the first time on the ramp. The theme of the show was ‘pirates’ and the following year the theme was ‘Buffalo Girls’.In 1990, she launched her own exclusive line of a complete menswear collection and the same year she opened ‘The Vivienne Westwood shop’ in London.In 1992, she started designing wedding gowns and also worked with the watch company ‘Swatch’, for which she designed a watch collection named ‘Putti’.In 1993, she collaborated with ‘Swatch’ for the second time and created ‘Orb’, which is an exclusive range of watches. That following year, she also designed for the carpet company, Brinton’s.In 1999, she opened her first store in New York and the same year she launched her line of eyewear and the ‘Coquetteries' collection, a line of toiletries and body products.In 2000, she showcased her collection titled 'Vivienne Westwood: the collection of Romilly McAlpine at The Museum of London. That year, she also launched her own fragrance called, ‘Libertine’.In 2003, she opened her store in Milan and Liverpool and the previous year she opened a store and an accessories shop in Hong Kong.From November 2004 to January 2005, her retrospective show called ‘Vivienne Westwood - 34 years in fashion’ was showcased at The National Gallery of Australia.In 2006, she collaborated with Nine West, a shoe brand. Even though she does not directly design for the band, her name is associated with the label.In 2009, she designed for Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, the second wife of the Prince of Wales, Charles. Camilla wore her designs to the royal Ascot, a major race event in the Britain.A couple of years later, she designed for Princess Eugenie of York, who wore her designs at the Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. That year her collection was showcased at The Brandery fashion show, held in Barcelona.In 2012, she worked with The Woolmark Company, for whom she created a twelve piece luxury collection that was made from some of the finest wool procured from Australia.Major Works
- She has designed for the 2011 royal wedding attendee, Princess Eugenie of York and has also designed for Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, the second wife of the Prince of Wales, Charles.‘The Vivienne Westwood’ label is an internationally recognized designer label that has four boutiques in London, one boutique in Leeds and also one situated in Milan, Italy. Other branches are located in Los Angeles, Paris, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow and Manchester.Awards & Achievements
- In 1992, she was the recipient of the title, ‘The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’, which was conferred to her by Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace.In 2007, she was the awarded the ‘Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design’ at the British Fashion Awards.In 2010, she was the recipient of the Prince Philip Designers Prize.Personal Life & Legacy
- In 1962, she married Derek Westwood, who was at that time an apprentice at the hoover factory in Harrow, London. The following year, they had a son. The marriage ended in divorce in 1965.She became romantically involved with Malcolm McLaren, an English artist, with whom she had a child.In 1992, she married Andreas Kronthaler, her former student and the couple live together in a Queen Anne style house in Britian.In 2008, she canvassed for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, which was held at the Atomic Weapons Establishment, Aldermaston, Berkshire.Trivia
- In 2003, this London based fashion designer made her male models wear fake breasts on the ramp. The models reportedly wore them below their polo neck shirts and cashmere sweaters.
See the events in life of Dame Vivienne Westwood in Chronological Order
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