Vivienne Westwood was born Vivienne Isabel Swire in Glossop, Derbyshire on 8th April 1941. At the age of 17 she and her family moved to London. She began designing in 1971, along with her partner Malcolm McLaren, when London was at the forefront of cultural trends. The showcase for their ideas and designs was the shop at 430 Kings Road, London.
With her changing ideas of fashion came the change of not only the name of the shop, but the entire decor as well. In 1971, 430 King’s Road was known as “Let It Rock” and was initially specialised in Fifties rock’ n’ roll clothing and memorabilia before changing its name in 1972 to Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die, and focusing on rock fashion and black urban culture.
In 1974, Westwood changed the shop’s name again to Sex and began dressing cult band, the New York Dolls. By the time the Sex Pistols appeared wearing Westwood clothes in 1976, the shop’s name had changed again to Seditionaries, and in 1979 it changed for the final time to World’s End.[readmore]
In 1981, Westwood unveiled her first runway collection, “Pirate”, marking her move away from street culture into the world of traditional tailoring techniques. In 1989 her creativity was formally recognised when John Fairchild, the editor of Women’s Wear Daily, declared her one of the six best designers in the world.
1990 was a significant year for Westwood. She unveiled her “Portrait” collection, revealed her first menswear collection in conjunction with Pitti Uomo in Florence and was awarded the title of British Designer Of The Year, an accolade she was to receive again in 1991. In 1992 she was made an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Royal College of Art and was awarded an OBE. 1993 saw her become Professor of Fashion at the Berliner Hochschule der Kunste.
Her first fragrance “Boudoir” was launched in 1998, followed by two further perfumes, Libertine in 2001 and a third fragrance Anglomania was launched in 2004.
The same year saw the V&A host a Vivienne Westwood retrospective exhibition to celebrate 34 years in fashion – the largest exhibition ever devoted to a living British fashion designer, which is now touring the world. In 2006, her contribution towards British Fashion was officially recognized when she was appointed a Dame.
Vivienne Westwood is a fashion brand for all ages that transcends generations. It is for those with a rebellious spirit who dare to be different and want to be ahead of their time. Through an extensive distribution network Vivienne Westwood Products are today sold in 86 countries throughout 5 continents with over 20 lines of product some of which include:Gold Label- the ‘demi couture’ line which is her most fashion-forward, innovative and recognisable collection. This womenswear collection is shown on the catwalk in Paris.Man - the collection for the modern man. Designed for the man who is fashion conscious and enjoys a new take on classic designs, this collection is shown on the catwalk in Milan.
Red Label- Designed for an elegant, timeless woman, it is the ready-to-wear diffusion line.Anglomania - bringing Westwood’s avant guard designs to a new generation, Anglomania is the most widely distributed of the womenswear lines and is targeted at a younger, more casual market. Bags and Wallets- Produced by an Italian leather goods company, a full range of bags and wallets are designed to compliment the Westwood clothing. Shoes- notorious for their height and strong design, Vivienne Westwood’s shoes are as much of a statement as her clothing. Each shoe is designed to convey a message of individuality and conscious resistance to current shoe trends, making them a highly covetable item. Eyewear- Vivienne Westwood launched her range of sunglasses in 1998. Never failing to meet customer demands, the sunglasses offer a myriad of styles from discreet to oversized, outrageously colourful and adorned. Neckwear- Vivienne Westwood designs an assortment of ties and scarves for men and women.Beachwear- as well as the beach wear which forms a part of the Gold Label and Man collections showcased in Paris and Milan respectively, Vivienne Westwood presents beach towels and accessories designed to compliment the season’s swimwear. Costume jewellery- drawing inspiration from superstitious beliefs, global religions and her own symbolisms, Vivienne Westwood creates rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants designed to add a touch of humour and irony to any outfit. Diamonds - In March 2005, Vivienne Westwood launched her fine Diamond range, ‘Hardcore Diamonds’, designed to compliment the Gold Label. Today Vivienne Westwood Ltd is proud to be a growing and entirely independent company. Vivienne Westwood is now both recognized as a global brand and Vivienne herself one of the most influential fashion designers in the world.
Fashion shows & sales campaign
Contacts & showrooms
Vivienne Westwood Paris
175 rue Saint Honoré
75001 Paris, France