Vivienne Westwood was born Vivienne Isabel Swire in Glossop, Derbyshire on 8th April 1941.
At the age of 17 Vivienne and her family moved to London. She began designing in 1971, along with her partner Malcolm McLaren, when London was at the forefront of cultural trends. The showcase for their ideas and designs was the shop at 430 Kings Road, London. With her changing ideas of fashion came the change of not only the name of the shop, but the entire decor as well. In 1971, 430 King"s Road was known as Let It Rock ". 1950"s
Rock?n?Roll records and clothing were sold at a time when „hippies? were the
fashion and Rock?n?Roll music was rarely heard on British Radio. In 1972, the name was
changed to Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die ". The shop had clothing with zips and
chains, T shirts with slogans, and Zoot suits. Sex "was the shop"s
new name in 1974; it sold
rubberwear for the office, leather bondage, T shirts with zips, holes, situationist slogans, and
pornographic images. With 1976 came punk and Seditionaries "followed by World"s
which remains its name to this day.
By the end of the seventies Vivienne Westwood was already considered a symbol of the British
avant garde and in Autumn/Winter 1981 she showed her first catwalk presentation at Olympia
in London. In October 1982, Vivienne Westwood began to show in Paris, the first British
designer to do so since Mary Quant. She opened a second shop in London called Nostalgia of
Mud ", which closed at the end of 1984, and co incided with the end of her collaboration with
In autumn 1984, Vivienne Westwood was invited to show her collection in Tokyo with Hanae
Mori, Calvin Klein, Claude Montana, and Gianfranco Ferre at the best of five ". 1984 was also
a very important year for Vivienne as it marked a radical change of direction. Street style and
youth culture ceased to play a major part of her world. She now finds inspiration in traditional
Savile Row tailoring techniques, British fabrics and 17th and 18th century art. The orb logo that
was first used around this time perfectly symbolized taking tradition in to the future ".
In 1989 Mr. John Fairchild, president of Fairchild publications and editor of the fashion bible
Wear Daily, in his book chic savages ", listed Vivienne as one of the six most
influential designers in the world. Vivienne has always included menswear within her
womenswear collections, but in July 1990 Vivienne showed her first complete menswear
collection in conjunction with Pitti Uomo in Florence. In that year Vivienne Westwood was
awarded the prestigious title of British designer of the year. In January 1991, Vivienne
Westwood was chosen to show in Tokyo once again, this time alongside Christian Lacroix,
Isaac Mizrahi, and Francesco Moschino at the Fashion Summit. Vivienne was again awarded
British Designer of the year in 1992.
1993 brought the division of her womenswear label in to two different lines: Gold Label ",
selling couture, and Red Label "the pret Č porter line. Man "her independent menswear line
was first shown, to International acclaim, in 1996 during Collezioni Uomo in Milan. In 1998
Vivienne launched a new line Anglomania "for men and women in order to complete the
Westwood universe and meet a younger and more casual demand. In the same year Vivienne
Westwood launched her first fragrance Boudoir "to be accompanied in 1999 by the bodyline
Les Coquetteries ". Vivienne began designing a complete range of eyewear, both sunglasses and optical, for wold wide distribution. Libertine "Vivienne"s
second fragrance was launched
From 2002 to present day, Vivienne Westwood has opened more stores in Italy, Russia,
Japan, Korea and China. A third fragrance Anglomania was launched in 2004 and the same
year saw the V&A host a Vivienne Westwood retrospective exhibition to celebrate 34 years in
fashion the largest exhibition ever hosted by a living British fashion designer, which is now
touring the world. Vivienne Westwood is now both recognized as a global brand and Vivienne
herself one of the most influential fashion designers in the world. In 2006, her contribution
towards British Fashion was officially recognized when she was appointed a Dame.
In 2007 VW ltd. launches two new fragrances, Boudoir Sin Garden and Let it rock.
The same year Anglomania is shown at the Mercedes Benz Fashion week in Berlin and the
Vivienne Westwood Retrospective exhibition opens in San Francisco in March and in Milan in
Vivienne Westwood in 2007 is also rewarded with the Outstanding Achievement in Fashion at the
British Fashion Awards in London.
1941 Vivienne Isabel Swire born on 8th April in Glossop, Derbyshire
1957 Moves with her family to London
1962 Marries Derek Westwood aged 21
1963 Her first son, Benjamin Arthur Westwood is born
1965 Marriage to Westwood ends. Meets 18 year old Malcolm Edwards (akaMcLaren)
1967 With McLaren a second son is born, Joseph Ferdinand Corre
1971 Opens first shop with McLaren at 430 Kings Road called „Let it Rock?
1972 The shop is redesigned and renamed „Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die?
1974 Shop name is changed to „Sex?
1976 Shop name is changed to „Seditionaries?
1979 Shop name is changed to „World"s
End? (its current name)
1984 With McLaren opens second shop „Nostalgia of Mud?
Collaboration and relationship with McLaren ends
Shows collection in Tokyo alongside „Best of five?
1986 Carlo D?Amario is appointed as Managing Director of Vivienne Westwood
1989 named one of the six most influential designers in John Fairchild"s
1990 The Vivienne Westwood shop at 6 Davies Street, in London"s
opened in December, where the Gold Label collection is sold.
Awarded Designer of the Year at The British fashion council awards
flagship arts program, The South Bank Show, air a
One hour profile of Vivienne Westwood. She is the first fashion designer
to be featured on the program. September, BBC Radio 4 broadcasts a „special? that allows
Vivienne to interview eminent figures in the museum world to highlight the
fact that the stagnation of museums and galleries is a direct influence of
Appointed Professor of Fashion at Vienna Academy of Applied Arts
First complete menswear collection shown in Pitti Uomo in Florence
1991 Awarded Designer of the Year for second time at The British fashion council
1992 Vivienne Westwood is made an Honorary Senior Fellow of the Royal
College of Art.
Shop opens at 43 Conduit Street, London
Creates a watch design called „Putti? for Swatch.
Chargers at CAPC Musee d?art, Bordeaux, France, sponsor a
retrospective show of her life"s
work in November.
Following a listing in the Birthday Honours issued by Buckingham Palace, Her
Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, presents Vivienne Westwood with an O.B.E. in
Vivienne introduces Wedding gowns to her spring/summer collection The
Salon ". Gowns are made to order. Unlike most designers, Vivienne
does not restrict herself to white and ivory.
Vivienne Westwood marries Andreas Kronthaler who she met whilst teaching in
1993 Vivienne creates her own tartan for the Anglomania line (Autumn/Winter 1993/94)
and invents her own clan MacAndreas ". The Lochcarron of Scotland officially
recognizes the clan. This process of recognition normally takes 200 years.
Appointed Proffessor of Fashion at the Berliner Hochschule der Künste.
Designs second watch for Swatch called „Orb?
1994 Westwood wins the first Institute of Contemporary Art Award for outstanding
Contribution to Contemporary culture.
Designs „Ancien Regime? costumes in carpet to celebrate the founding in 1783 of
the carpet company Brintons
1996 January, The „Man? label, the menswear line is launched in Milan
Three part channel 4 series, „Painted Ladies? is broadcast in Spring
1998 Vivienne Westwood Ltd is awarded the Queen"s
Award for Export in
recognition of the company"s
growing export market.
Vivienne Westwood launches her debut fragrance, Boudoir, 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 Westwood is the first designer to be honoured at the MoĎt &
Chandon Fashion Tribute. This highly prestigious annual event, held in conjunction with the Victoria & Albert Museum, honors a leading light
from the world of fashion whose creativity and vision of the way we dress
has had a profound influence on our lifestyle.
1999 The Red Label is launched in New York in February coinciding with the opening of
a first US store on Greene Street New York
Accessories lines are introduced including the eyewear collection and the
Coquetteries body and bath line
2000 The museum of London holds the exhibition „Vivienne Westwood: the collection of
Romilly McAlpine? from 7th April to 25th June
The second fragrance, „Libertine? is launched in Europe.
2001 Launch of official web site
For Fall 2012 designers are inspired by a wide range of influences, from the elaborate details of brocade and metallic gold embellishments to the dynamic mix of military chic and power pantsuits. Colo