Vivienne Westwood has died, aged 81

vivienne westwood
Vivienne Westwood has died, aged 81John Phillips - Getty Images

The British fashion industry has lost one of its most legendary fashion designers with the news that Vivienne Westwood has passed away at 81 years old.

An announcement was shared on the brand's official Instagram account this evening, which explained that the designer died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London.

The heartfelt statement read: "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. She led an amazing life. Her innovation and impact over the last 60 years has been immense and will continue into the future."

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The brand also added a quote from Westwood herself: "Vivienne considered herself a Taoist. She wrote, 'Tao spiritual system. There was never more need for the Tao today. Tao gives you a feeling that you belong to the cosmos and gives purpose to your life; it gives you such a sense of identity and strength to know you’re living the life you can live and therefore ought to be living: make full use of your character and full use of your life on earth.'

"The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better."

vivienne westwood
Mirrorpix - Getty Images

Westwood's husband has also released a touching statement. He 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."

The designer – who was one of the most influential names in the fashion industry since she first found fame over 50 years ago – has already seen a huge outpouring of grief from her friends, colleagues and those who have admired her from afar.

vivienne westwood runway paris fashion week womenswear fallwinter 20162017
Vivienne Westwood and Andreas KronthalerFrancois G. Durand - Getty Images

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