Celebrities and notable figures in the fashion world are mourning Dame Vivienne Westwood after the fashion designer died at age 81.
The news of the designer’s passing was announced on Thursday 29 December through a statement from her fashion house, which said the 81 year old died “peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London”.
Westwood’s passing has since been met with an outpouring of condolences and tributes from her peers, who have remembered the designer as an industry pioneer, fashion icon and activist.
On Instagram, where the statement announcing Westwood’s death was shared, the official accounts for Burberry and Jacquemus responded with a single heart emoji.
Fellow designer Victoria Beckham paid tribute to Westwood on her Instagram Stories, where she reshared the statement announcing the designer’s passing and wrote: “I’m so sad to learn of the passing of legendary designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood. My thoughts are with her family at this incredibly sad time.”
Kim Cattrall has expressed her grief over the designer’s passing as well, with the Sex and the City star describing Westwood as a “legend” and “icon for change”.
“Always a legend. An icon for change and innovation. I was blessed to meet her and wear her creations. I always loved she was Northern and never lost her grit,” she wrote in the comments under the fashion house’s statement. “RIP Vivian. A true original...x.”
In a separate tribute shared to her own Instagram, Cattrall shared a story about Westwood, in which she recalled how the designer made her a dress to wear to a premiere in just three days, after dresses from other designers fell through. “I’ve never forgotten her generosity and kindness in making that happen and saving the day,” Cattrall wrote.
Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie was among those sharing their grief over Westwood’s passing, with the actress referring to the designer as a “Mother of Revolution” in a comment written on Instagram.
“We were lucky to have you at all,” she added.
Playwright Jeremy O Harris paid tribute to Westwood on Twitter, where he applauded the late designer for challenging “us all to look at what we wore as an extension of our politics”.
“Vivienne Westwood challenged us all to look at what we wore as an extension of our politics. You taught us so much while also making us beautiful. Thank you for everything. RIP,” he wrote.
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, expressed his condolences as well, writing on Twitter: “Vivienne Westwood was a creative icon who helped cement the UK at the very forefront of modern fashion. My thoughts are with her family and friends.”
TV presenter Jonathan Ross also paid tribute to the designer, writing: “RIP the great Vivienne Westwood. Unique. Brilliant. Uncompromising. Thanks Viv x.”
Fellow designer Christopher John Rogers expressed his condolences and gratitude to Westwood on Instagram, where he wrote: “Thank you for everything,” while designer Pam Hogg described the news as “devastating”.
“A phenomenal individual... what an inspiration. A truly wonderful being. Love to you @andreaskronthaler, the family, and to you all at Westwood. A great loss today,” she wrote.
The UK’s Design Council also shared a tribute, writing on Twitter: “We are saddened to hear of the passing of the queen of punk fashion,” before adding a quote from the designer: “Buy less, choose well: that’s the maxim. Quality not quantity. That’s the most environmentally friendly thing you can do.”
Also among those sharing tributes to Westwood was Italian actress Alice Pagani, who shared her grief over the passing of the iconic designer. “Deep tears. My heart weeps through Vivienne’s planets,” she wrote.
In a tribute of his own, Peruvian fashion photographer Mario Testino reflected on the privilege he feels to have been able to meet Westwood early on in his career. “We shall all miss you. I was lucky to meet you early on in my career and learn so much from you,” he wrote. “Above all you were a divine person. Humble , funny and inspiring beyond. RIP.”
Coda actor and activist, Marlee Matlin, posted a photograph of herself wearing a Vivienne Westwood design at the 2021 Academy Awards, writing: “How sad I was to find out about the passing of Vivienne Westwood. Such a groundbreaking force in the fashion world. And she designed this sustainable dress I wore at The Academy Awards in 2021; I never felt more beautiful. RIP, dear Vivienne.”
Also among those sharing tributes to Westwood was fellow punk fashion designer Charles Jeffrey. On Instagram, he wrote: My North Star. Her research. Her humor. Her femininity. The word she built. Nothing excites me more about fashion than what this woman created. Love to @ndreaskronthaler and the team and family.”
Model and actor Cara Delevingne wrote on an Instagram Story: “You will be missed beautiful baddass Vivienne. RIP,” while American musician Chrissie Hynde tweeted: “Vivienne is gone and the world is already a less interesting place. Love you Viv. Chrissie.”
British Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Edward Enninful, shared a tribute to the fashion designer by posting a photograph of Westwood taken in 2021 on Instagram. He wrote: “I am so saddened to hear the news of Dame Vivienne Westwood’s passing, a true icon of British fashion and an irreplaceable force in the industry. Her legacy will live on.”
In a statement following Westwood’s death, the 81-year-old’s 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.”
Westwood rose to prominence in the 1970s with her punk, androgynous designs. As she made a name for herself in the fashion industry as one of Britain’s most celebrated fashion designers, she remained true to herself, with many remembering Westwood as both a fashion pioneer and a staunch activist.
The designer received her OBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 1992 and became a dame in 2006.