Legendary style icon Vivienne Westwood has ascended to the fashion heavens, passing away on Thursday.
The British designer passed away at age 81, peacefully surrounded by loved ones in her London home, concluding a life filled with welcomed rebellion in the fashion industry. Her remarkable career kicked off in the 1970s after falling in love with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren. Now immersed in rock and roll culture, Westwood shot to fame when she debuted a range of punk streetwear clothing in London. Pushing the boundaries of conventional clothing of that time, she presented bold pieces such as bondage gear, massive platform footwear, and colorful slogan tees. By 1981, however, Westwood decided it was time to evolve her rock-inspired threads by incorporating a high-end flair. She also forever altered the concept of ageism in the fashion world, debuting her first runway collection at age 40 that same year.
Since then, the vivacious stylist has disrupted the world of clothing, rejecting societal norms every step of the way. Her team released some of her final words, which take a stab at the current state of the world in a typical Westwood way.
“Capitalism is a crime. It is the root cause of war, climate change, and corruption,” she is quoted as saying shortly before passing away.
The designer was honored with an O.B.E. in 1992, which she received from Queen Elizabeth II herself during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. In one of the most memorable style moments of all time, Westwood showed up to receive her award wearing only sheer stockings underneath her fitted suit and skirt. During this year, she also introduced wedding dresses to her collection, becoming one of the most sought-after gown creators among brides.
In 2018, she collaborated with Burberry to bring awareness to environmental causes such as global warming and endangered rainforests.
Following her passing, her husband, Austrian fashion designer Andreas Kronthaler, issued a statement in which he thanked his wife for her commitment to both him and her beloved brand.
“We have been working until the end, and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you, darling.”