Vivienne Westwood Story


1971 – 1980

The hippie movement was still the fashion look of late 1960s London, but this did not inspire Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, they were more interested in rebellion and in particular 1950s clothing, music and memorabilia. Vivienne began by making Teddy Boy clothes for McLaren and in 1971 they opened Let it Rock at 430 Kings Road.

By 1972 the designer’s interests had turned to biker clothing, zips and leather. The shop was re-branded with a skull and crossbones and renamed Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die. Westwood and McLaren began to design t-shirts with provocative messages leading to their prosecution under the obscenity laws; their reaction was to re-brand the shop once again and produce even more hard core images. By 1974 the shop had been renamed Sex, a shop ‘unlike anything else going on in England at the time’ with the slogan ‘rubberwear for the office’.

In 1976 the Sex Pistol’s God Save the Queen, managed by McLaren, went to number one and was refused air time by the BBC. The shop reopened as Seditionaires transforming the straps and zips of obscure sexual fetishism into fashion and inspiring a D.I.Y. aesthetic. The media called it ‘Punk Rock’.

The collapse of the Sex Pistols and the absorption of Punk into the mainstream left Westwood disenchanted. In 1980 the shop was refitted and renamed Worlds End, the name still in use today.


1981 – 1987

In 1984 the Nostalgia of Mud shop (now known as Worlds End) closes in West London and Vivienne relocates to Italy.

Vivienne receives an invitation to show her Spring-Summer 1984 ‘Hypnos’ collection in Tokyo at Hanae Mori’s ‘Best of Five’ global fashion awards, with Calvin Klein, Claude Montana, and Gianfranco Ferre.

Vivienne Westwood opens another London boutique on Davies Street in 1988. 

In 1986 the orb logo was first used to symbolize taking tradition into the future. 

Carlo D’Amario was appointed Managing Director of Vivienne Westwood Ltd in 1986.

The 1981 ‘Pirate’ Collection was Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s first official collaborative catwalk show. It informed the aesthetic of The World’s End Boutique with its pirate’s galleon and ship features. This collection was filled with romantic looks in gold, orange, and yellow which burst onto the London fashion scene, ensuring its place in the house’s history of influence. 

‘We’ve only stopped to note significant innovations, otherwise, the ideas carry through and develop throughout the collections.’ ‘Pirates’, Autumn-Winter 1981/82 was their first catwalk show. Looking at plundering history and the Third World. The research was into historical dress, keeping the original cuts as fashion. Inspired by Native American patterns, the ‘Pirate’ trousers had a baggy bum, in complete contrast to hippy hipsters and ‘tight arses’ of the time. The position of the neck when worn, was asymmetrical. 


1988 – 1992

John Fairchild’s 1989 book ‘Chic Savages’ features Vivienne in a list of the world’s top six designers along with Armani, Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, Lacroix and Ungaro. 

Vivienne is appointed as Professor of Fashion at the Vienna Academy of Applied Arts from 1989 to 1991. 

In December 1990, the Davies Street boutique opens in London’s Mayfair. 

Vivienne receives an award for Fashion Designer of the Year for two years in a row in 1990 and 1991 by the British Fashion Council.

Vivienne receives an O.B.E at Buckingham Palace from her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll in 1992.

Vivienne introduces wedding gowns into her collections in 1992.

In 1992, Vivienne is made an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art (RCA). 

Vivienne marries Andreas Kronthaler in 1993, whom she met in 1988 whilst teaching in Vienna.

During this period Vivienne’s heroes shifted from punks and ragamuffins to ‘Tatler’ girls wearing clothes that parodied the upper class. A chance encounter inspired one of her most important and influential collections, Autumn-Winter 1987 ‘Harris Tweed’. “My whole idea for this collection was stolen from a little girl I saw on the tube one day. She couldn’t have been more than 14. She had a little plaited bun, a Harris Tweed jacket, and a bag with a pair of ballet shoes in it. She looked so cool and composed standing there.”


1993 – 1999

Vivienne Westwood collaborates with Swatch to create the ‘Putti’ and ‘Orb’ watches in 1992/93. 

A new boutique opens at 43 Conduit Street, in central London. 

Vivienne is appointed Professor of Fashion at the Berliner Hochschule der Künste in 1993. 

Vivienne channelled her creative nature into producing her own tartan for the ‘Anglomania’ Autumn-Winter 1993/94 collection and invented her own clan, MacAndreas. The Lochcarron of Scotland officially recognized the clan, which is a process that normally takes 200 years, a huge achievement for Vivienne. 

A three-part Channel 4 series, Painted Ladies, was broadcast in 1996 examining the relationship between fashion and art. Vivienne looked at the costumes depicted in the art of the classical, mediaeval and renaissance periods.

Vivienne Westwood opens a new boutique at 44 Conduit Street, London in 1997.

Vivienne Westwood’s debut fragrance ‘Boudoir’ launches in 1998. It was developed in conjunction with world-famous ‘nose’, Martin Gras of Dragoco. “My perfume is called Boudoir. A boudoir is a dressing room and a place to get undressed. It signifies a woman’s space, a place where she is on intimate terms with herself, where she sees her faults and her potential” (Vivienne).

Vivienne Westwood Red Label launches in 1999. The prêt-à-porter line combines Vivienne’s continued interest in Savile Row tailoring and French couture.

The first Vivienne Westwood New York boutique opens in 1999.

The Vivienne Westwood MAN label launches in 1996 in Milan. 

A Vivienne Westwood licensed boutique launches in Tokyo, Japan, a first outside of the UK. 

‘Anglomania’ launches in 1998 as its own diffusion line, taking inspiration from the Vivienne Westwood archive collections. The youthful collection pays homage to Westwood’s iconic tailoring and draped silhouettes and includes styles from the SEX, Pirate, Mini-Crini and Bondage collections. 



The exhibition ‘Vivienne Westwood: the collection of Romilly McAlpine’ opens at the Museum of London from April to June 2000.

The official e-commerce website launches in 2001. 

In 2002, Vivienne Westwood opens a boutique in Hong Kong and two in Korea.

Vivienne receives the UK Fashion Export Award for Design in June 2003. 

In Autumn-Winter 2002/03, the Vivienne Westwood X Commes des Garçons collaboration launches in Japan and Milan through the Cosa Coma Comme shops. 

Aoyama, the Japanese Vivienne Westwood womenswear flagship boutique opens in March 2003. 

In 2003, the house collaborates with the English fine china, porcelain, and luxury accessories manufacturer Calport for the Westwood Home Collection. 

A new Vivienne Westwood flagship boutique opens up in Milan, Italy in 2003.

In 2004 the Victoria and Albert Museum hosts a retrospective exhibition celebrating Vivienne Westwood’s contribution to fashion. This was their first exhibition of its kind.

Moet & Chandon Fashion Tribute honours Vivienne Westwood as the first fashion designer to have a solo exhibition at the V&A. 

Vivienne Westwood begins a long-term collaboration with The Rug Company designing rugs and cushions in 2005. 

Vivienne visits Buckingham Palace for a second time to meet his royal highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales to accept her Damehood in 2006.

Vivienne receives the Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design award at the 2007 British Fashion Awards. 

Omotesando, a Japanese Vivienne Westwood menswear flagship boutique, opens in October 2008.

Vivienne receives the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 2010. 

The Made in Kenya collaboration launches in 2010, as a partnership with the United Nations in support of the Ethical Fashion Initiative and Artisan Fashion.

Climate Revolution, Vivienne’s activist team and website launches in 2010.


2016 – Present

The Vivienne Westwood New York and Paris flagship boutiques open their doors in 2016. 

The Ginza Six flagship boutique opens in Japan in April 2017, with the same concept as Paris.

In 2018, the Vivienne Westwood collaboration with Burberry launches, in joint support of UK-based non-profit Cool Earth, who raise money to help protect the endangered rainforests, combat global warming, protect ecosystems and provide employment for local people.

A flagship boutique on Patterson Street in Hong Kong opens in November 2018.

The Asics X Vivienne Westwood three-year collaboration launches in April 2019. 

The Vivienne Westwood X Vans Anglomania capsule collection launches in September 2019.

The Vivienne Westwood X Buffalo collaboration launches in May 2019.

The Vivienne Westwood X Eastpak ‘SAVE OUR OCEANS’ collection of bags and accessories launches in July 2020.

Vivienne Westwood partners with environmental not-for-profit Canopy for 2020 World Earth Day in their campaign to protect forests through fabric choices.

Both the Vivienne Westwood Shanghai and Beijing Flagship boutiques open in December 2021.

The last physical Vivienne Westwood mainline show took place at Autumn-Winter 2019 London Fashion Week. From then on it was decided to go digital, for environmental reasons.


Paris Fashion Week Autumn-Winter 2016 marked a new and exciting chapter for the house. Vivienne’s long-term husband Andreas Kronthaler debuted his first official collection there, under the name Andreas Kronthaler For Vivienne Westwood, replacing Gold Label forevermore. Vivienne Westwood mainline continues to produce bi-annual collections, shown separately. 

“I have designed with Vivienne for more than 25 years. To add my name is to emphasise and clarify the differences between our lines. It is not a big change to the way we work but it will bring a new direction and I am happy and excited for the future.” – Andreas Kronthaler

“Over the years Andreas has taken on ever more responsibility and I wish this fact to be reflected in public perception.” – Vivienne Westwood 

“We chose to separate our lines in order to clarify and reduce them. Gold Label became Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, while Vivienne designs Vivienne Westwood Mainline, which includes Unisex – a way to reduce buying.” – Andreas Kronthaler



Synonymous with British punk culture, Vivienne Westwood often references this era when designing her eponymous label’s collections. From flashes of plaid to metallic accents and tongue-in-cheek slogans, discover clothing with a distinctively rebellious attitude. Emblem featuring across everything from bags to jewelry. 
Vivienne Westwood, in full Dame Vivienne Isabel Westwood, née Vivienne Isabel Swire, (born April 8, 1941, Glossop, Derbyshire, England), British fashion designer known for her provocative clothing. With her partner, Malcolm McLaren, she extended the influence of the 1970s punk music movement into fashion.
She was a schoolteacher before she married Derek Westwood in 1962 (divorced 1965). A self-taught designer, in 1965 Westwood met and moved in with McLaren, future manager of the punk band the Sex Pistols. Together they pursued a career in fashion. Initially, they operated Let It Rock, a stall selling secondhand 1950s vintage clothing along with McLaren’s rock-and-roll record collection. Westwood produced clothing designs based on his provocative ideas. Their customized T-shirts, which were ripped and emblazoned with shocking antiestablishment slogans and graphics, and their bondage trousers—black pants featuring straps inspired by sadomasochistic costume—flew out of the London shop of which the couple became proprietors in 1971. Their boutique—variously named Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die; Sex; and finally Seditionaries—was a youth fashion mecca. Their erotically charged fashion image enraged Britain’s right-wing press, however. Soon after Westwood and McLaren staged Pirates, their first commercial ready-to-wear collection, in 1981, they ended their personal relationship. They remained professional partners for an additional five years, but Westwood soon established her identity as a leading independent designer.


Westwood’s “mini-crini” design—a thigh-grazing crinoline produced in both cotton and tweed that debuted as part of her spring-summer 1985 collection—marked a turning point. For the next two decades she created collections that took inspiration from classical sources, notably the paintings of Jean-Honoré Fragonard, François Boucher, and Thomas Gainsborough, as well as historical British dress, including the 19th-century bustle, which Westwood incorporated under elaborate knitwear dresses and tartan miniskirts.
Independently, Westwood built her own eponymous mini fashion empire, operating numerous boutiques and producing two menswear and three women’s wear collections annually as well as bridal clothes, shoes, hosiery, eyewear, scarves, ties, knitwear, cosmetics, and perfumes. On April 1, 2004, a retrospective devoted to her creations opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. “Vivienne Westwood: 34 Years in Fashion” was the largest exhibition the museum had ever dedicated to a British designer. She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1992 and advanced to Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in 2006.








An undisputed icon of new romantic fashion, Vivienne Westwood has mastered the art of creating provocative pieces with a meaningful message. She teams sleek silhouettes with eye-catching prints, then finishes every item with a hint of her signature rock personality. Our collection of Vivienne Westwood designer fashion incorporates everything from statement bags that add a punch of personality to your day-to-day outfits to jewellery pieces that command attention. Picture vivid tartan and tweed teamed with metal detailing and the brand's recognisable orb motif.

The first chapter of Westwood's story began on the King's Road in 1971. In an era of bohemian fashion, Westwood stood out thanks to her inspiring vision of punk and gender-fluid designs. From corsets to kilts, she experimented with anarchistic influences and secured herself as a cult favourite. She's also known for her trailblazing activism and encouraging mindful consumerism. Expect to see the finest materials across her designs, from pure wool to supple vegan leather. Look out for the Project Earth banner on selected items, demonstrating the brand's dedication to using materials that minimise harm to the planet.

This collection is dotted with bright tartan prints, spray-paint designs and chunky metal detailing, referencing the brand's rebellious roots. So whether you're looking to treat yourself or a loved one to a showstopping piece, our lineup of Vivienne Westwood fashion items is here to inspire you.