Dame Vivienne Westwood has died at the age of 81

The pioneering fashion designer made a name for herself on the fashion scene in the 1970s, with her androgynous designs, slogan t-shirts and irreverent attitude towards the establishment

The iconic designer - known for her quirky style - became synonymous with 1970s punk rock - dressing bands such as The Sex Pistols, celebrities, politicians and royalty alike.

Famed for her androgynous designs, slogan t-shirts and corseted dresses - she became one of fashion's biggest names.

In a statement, her representatives have said she died peacefully surrounded by her family in South London.

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.”

Dame Vivienne Westwood accompanied by her husband Andreas Kronthaler arriving for a reception at 10 Downing Street
Dame Vivienne Westwood accompanied by her husband Andreas Kronthaler arriving for a reception at 10 Downing Street

Dame Vivienne, who was born in Cheshire in 1941, is largely accepted as being responsible for bringing punk and new wave fashion into the mainstream with her eccentric creations.

Her designs were regularly worn by high-profile individuals including Dita Von Teese who wore a purple Westwood wedding gown to marry Marilyn Manson, and Princess Eugenie who wore three Westwood designs for various elements of the wedding of William and Kate Middleton.

Dame Vivienne’s designs also featured in the 2008 film adaptation of Sex And The City, starring Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw.

In addition to her work as a designer, Dame Vivienne was vocal in her support of a number of social and political initiatives including campaigning for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is fighting to avoid being sent to the US to face charges under the Espionage Act.

In July 2020, Dame Vivienne sounded a warning over an Assange “stitch-up” while dressed in canary yellow in a giant bird cage.

Dame Vivienne led a colourful band of protesters chanting “Free Julian Assange” outside the Old Bailey in central London.

Suspended inside the cage, she said: “Don’t extradite Assange – it’s a stitch-up.”