The fashion world is in mourning over the death of a legend.
Vivienne Westwood, the English designer credited with popularising modern punk and new-wave fashion, died at the age of 81.
According to an Instagram statement posted on her brand account on December 29, the style icon died in Clapham, South London, surrounded by her loved ones. Her cause of death has not yet been revealed.
“Vivienne continued to do the things she loved until the very end,” the company wrote, “designing, working on her art, writing her book, and changing the world for the better.”
“Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future,” the message continued.
Andreas Kronthaler, Vivienne’s husband since 1992, has stated that he will carry on her legacy.
“We’ve been working until the end, and she’s given me plenty to do,” he said in a statement. “I appreciate it, darling.”
Westwood rose to prominence in the early 1970s after opening the SEX clothing boutique. She collaborated on clothing with Malcolm McLaren, who was in charge of the “Sex Pistols” at the time. The band frequently wore their designs, which increased Westwood and McLaren’s popularity.
Westwood, a self-taught designer, first created clothes based on McLaren’s ideas, such as distressed T-shirts with “shocking anti-establishment slogans and graphics” and bondage pants, according to USA Today.
But she created her own punk fashion revolution and embraced everything it stood for.
“I was messianic about punk,” she told The Sun previously. “Trying to see if we can put a spoke in the system in some way.”
Westwood’s fashion career extended far beyond the punk scene, as her decades-long career evolved over time. But, no matter where she took her designs, which she showcased in numerous runway shows in London, Paris, Milan, and New York, she always made her clothes with attitude and fearlessness.
She dubbed the era “New Romantic” from 1981 to 1985, and before the decade ended, she shifted her style to what she called “The Pagan Years.”
Many of her creations were featured in “Sex and the City” in the early to mid-aughts, particularly in one of the most famous scenes in the 2008 film adaptation of the series.
After Carrie Bradshaw marries Mr. Big, her Vogue editor invites her to model wedding gowns, including a voluminous corseted gown by Vivienne Westwood. Carrie eventually decides to wear the design, and the rest is history.
Sarah Jessica Parker was photographed on the set of “And Just Like That” last month wearing the same dress she wore to her wedding to Mr. Big, proving that it has stood the test of time.
Princess Eugenie wore not one, not two, but three Westwood looks for her pre-wedding dinner in 2011, making Carrie’s princess moments a reality.
Vivienne was made a Dame in 2006 for her contributions to fashion.
Westwood, who was born in Glossop, England in 1941, was a schoolteacher before becoming a designer. She married Derek Westwood in 1962, and their son Ben Westwood was born a year later. The couple divorced in 1965, however.
While she and McLaren never married, they did have a son, Joseph Corré, the now-famous Agent Provocateur co-founder, in 1969.