Vivienne Westwood, groundbreaking punk fashion designer, dies at 81

British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who helped popularize the punk rock style, died Thursday. She was 81 years old.

Westwood died in London surrounded by family, according to a statement shared on her social media accounts. She has not made her cause of death public.

“Till the last moment, Vivian continued doing what she loved: designing, making art, writing books, and changing the world for the better.” The innovation and impact of the past 60 years has been immense and will continue.”

Westwood began selling clothes from a boutique called SEX in London’s Chelsea district, run by Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren.

As the bands wearing her designs became famous, so did the Westwood brand.

Her clients included Chrissie Hynde, Iggy Pop, Jerry Hall and more.

While she continued to dress both Hollywood and actual royalty, Westwood never strayed far from her punk aesthetic and philosophy.

However, the designer occasionally flirted with the establishment.

She received an OBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 1992 and was upgraded to a DBE in 2006. Westwood recently teamed up with Virgin to redesign the company’s crew uniforms.

Even as she got older and her style evolved, Westwood remained committed to punk.

“What I do now is still punk. Shouting about injustice and making people think, even if it’s uncomfortable,” she said in a 2014 interview. , I will always remain a punk.”

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