Dame Vivienne Westwood ‘surrendered control of £68m business empire days before death’

Dame Vivienne Westwood reportedly surrendered control of her £68 million business empire to a close designer friend and her third husband days before her death credit:Bang Showbiz
Dame Vivienne Westwood reportedly surrendered control of her £68 million business empire to a close designer friend and her third husband days before her death credit:Bang Showbiz

Dame Vivienne Westwood reportedly surrendered control of her £68 million business empire to a close designer friend and her third husband days before her death.

The ‘Godmother of Punk’, who died on Thursday (29.12.22) aged 81, gave the reigns of her clothing company to fellow designer Jeff Banks, 79, Mail Online has reported.

Jeff is now a director of Vivienne Westwood Ltd, according to a filing to Companies House on December 22, with the firm holding cash and assets of more than £50 million.

On the same day, Vivienne’s third husband Andreas Kronthaler, 56, was made a director and secretary of his wife’s property business, worth £18 million according to Mail Online.

The outlet added Vivienne’s two sons apparently have no formal role in their mother's business but may inherit some of her £150 million fortune.

She had previously spoken about her desire to retain control of her fashion house, declaring: “I own my own company, so I’ve never had businessmen telling me what to do or getting worried if something doesn’t sell.

“I’ve always had my own access to the public, because I started off making my clothes for a little shop and so I’ve always had people buying them. I could always sell a few, even if I couldn’t sell a lot, and somehow my business grew because people happened to like it.”

Jeff – a two-time winner of the British Designer of the Year who also found fame presenting the BBC’s ‘The Clothes Show’ for 14 years until 2000 – became close friends with Vivienne in the mid-1980s, when he helped her to establish her fashion label.

Punk fashion pioneer and anti-establishment campaigner Vivienne is also survived by her son Ben, born 1963, who she shared with Derek Westwood, and Joseph Corré, born 1967, who she had with Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren.

Her death was announced on the official social media page of her fashion house, which said she died peacefully surrounded by her family in Clapham, south London.