Fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81 | Ents & Arts News

Legendary British fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81.

She died today in Clapham, surrounded by her family, a statement said.

Dame Vivienne found fame in the 1970s when she brought punk fashions into the mainstream, running a boutique on London’s King’s Road alongside Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren.

She went on to establish a global fashion brand which today has stores in the UK, France, Italy, America and Asia.

“Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London. The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better,” her fashion house tweeted.

Her husband and creative partner Andreas Kronthaler said: “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.”

The Cheshire-born designer was also well known for campaigning on issues such as pollution and climate change, and supporting WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

PABest Vivienne Westwood outside the Old Bailey, London, ahead of a hearing in Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's battle against extradition to the US.
The designer also supported WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

She once dressed up as Margaret Thatcher for a magazine cover, and drove a white tank near the home of former prime minister David Cameron to protest against fracking.

Dame Vivienne also showed her rebellious nature when receiving an OBE from the Queen in 1992.

She turned up without underwear – a fact she proved with a twirl of her skirt for photographers.

“The only reason I am in fashion is to destroy the word ‘conformity’,” she said in her biography.

“Nothing is interesting to me unless it’s got that element.”

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