She was 81.
The fashion community is mourning the loss of beloved British designer Vivienne Westwood following the announcement of her death on December 29. She was 81.
According to a statement released by her team per People, Westwood, who was known for bringing punk to high fashion, died peacefully and surrounded by friends and family in Clapham, South London yesterday. Her cause of death has not been made public.
"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," the statement continued. "She led an amazing life."
In addition to her industry-disrupting aesthetic (pirate boots, corsets, and bustle skirts were just a few of her signatures), Vivienne was also a longtime activist. Most famously, she staged a protest in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while suspended in a birdcage, objecting against his extradition from Britain to the U.S. Other causes near to Westwood's heart included the fight against global warming, capitalism, and war, as well as the protection of ecosystems and human rights.
"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," Westwood said of her final thoughts before passing, according to her team's statement.
And while Westwood may be gone, her legacy will live on via The Vivienne Foundation — a not-for-profit organization founded by Westwood, her two sons, and granddaughter in 2022 — which will officially launch next year.
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