Vivienne Westwood, beloved fashion designer and style icon, has sadly passed away at the age of 81.
The tragic news was confirmed on 29 December by her husband and creative partner, Andreas Kronthaler.
“I will continue with Vivienne in my heart. We have been working until the end, and she has given me plenty of things to get on with. Thank you, darling,” he wrote.
While Westwood’s cause of death is unknown, her team revealed that she passed away peacefully in Clapham, South London – with her friends and family by her side.
“Vivienne continued to do the things she loved, up until the last moment, designing, working on her art, writing her book and changing the world for the better. She led an amazing life,” her team said in a statement, per People.
“Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future.”
In addition to the heartwarming message, her team also shared Westwood’s final thoughts before she passed away.
“Julian Assange is a hero and has been treated atrociously by the UK government. Capitalism is a crime. It is the root cause of war, climate change and corruption,” she said in her final hours.
Since the news of the 81-year-old’s heartbreaking death, fans and her industry peers have flocked to social media to share heartwarming tributes.
Marc Jacobs wrote: “Heartbroken. You did it first. Always. Incredible style with brilliant and meaningful substance. I continue to learn from your words, and all, of your extraordinary creations.”
Kim Catrall echoed similar sentiments while praising the legendary figure for never losing her “northern grit.”
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Even Drag Race UK winner The Vivienne delivered a heartfelt tribute for the iconic fashion designer.
“Vivienne Westwood is the woman that showed me I could do anything, I could wear what I wanted, she was an ICON, and I lived my life through hers in some sort of way. There will never be another, but we’ll continue your fight,” she wrote.
Getting her start in the late 60s, Westwood led an incredible career as one of the fashion world’s leading and most influential voices.
In the 1970s, she was credited for spearheading the punk fashion phenomenon.
During the height of the era, Westwood co-owned a boutique named SEX with Sex Pistols member Malcolm McLaren. The store was home to innovative punk designs and a hub for musical talent within the scene, like Viv Albertine of the Stilts.
In the 80s and 90s, Westwood, alongside McLaren, continued to wow fans with her provocative and stunning “The New Romantic” and “The Pagan Years” fashion eras.
After splitting ways from McLaren, Westwood became an independent designer and continued to gain recognition in films like Sex and the City and on various red-carpet events.
In addition to her strides within the fashion sphere, the British designer also used her platform to highlight important issues like global warming, human rights, and the dangers of capitalism.
Fortunately, Westwood’s influence will continue to thrive with the help of her dedicated husband, two children and her forthcoming non-profit organisation, The Vivienne Foundation.