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DAME VIVIENNE WESTWOOD: THE GODMOTHER OF PUNK

‘Capitalism is a crime. It’s the root cause of war, climate change and corruption.’


Although it might not be the typical viewpoint of a highly influential fashion designer, that's precisely why Vivienne Westwood garnered admiration from the industry. Her refusal to sell her brand to one of the major fashion houses is a testament to her principles, very punk rock, and it's one of the reasons why her company remains as one of the few independent global fashion brands. Her brand has been has consistently been characterized by activism, with her garments often serving as a platform for her political beliefs. Vivienne Westwood's decision to remain an independent global fashion company reflects her values, as she has chosen not to sell to any of the major fashion houses, making her one of the few remaining independent companies in the industry. Vivienne Westwood was a revolutionary who was fueled by a disdain for corruption and global inequality. Disheartened by the lack of action and engagement among the younger generation, Westwood created punk, dominated the world of high fashion, and established a global business empire. She was the mastermind behind the New Romantic movement, famously sent Naomi Campbell down the runway in a traffic cone, and even forgot her underwear when meeting the Queen. For Westwood, fashion was a tool for change. Although she acknowledged that clothes could be alluring, her true intention was to challenge the status quo, demolish dreary conformity, and construct a better world.


‘You have far more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes.’


(Or lack-there-of) In 1992, Vivienne Westwood received an OBE, and during the ceremony, she surprised photographers by spinning around without wearing any underwear. Although it's unclear whether or not the Queen found it amusing, Westwood wasn't deterred and returned to the Palace several years later as a Dame, solidifying her status as a legendary rebel. Vivienne Westwood's favorite quote, often attributed to Aldous Huxley but actually originating from Bertrand Russell, was "Orthodoxy is the grave of intelligence." Her shop on King's Road, which she opened many years ago, still operates today under the name "World's End." The shop offers a range of archive designs and slogan T-shirts as a tribute to Westwood's legacy and her unwavering commitment to challenging conformity. As the godmother of punk, a titan of global fashion, and a Dame of the British Empire, Westwood certainly succeeded in her mission.




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