Vivienne Westwood was born in 1941 and moved to London 17 years later. She began designing in 1971 along with her partner Malcolm McLaren when London was at the forefront of cultural trends. In 1984 she launched her own fashion line and in 2004 the V&A hosted a Vivienne Westwood retrospective exhibition to celebrate her 34 years in fashion – the largest exhibition ever devoted to a living British fashion designer. The exhibition toured the world for over 4 years and was shown in over ten cities worldwide.
In 2006, her contribution to British Fashion was officially recognised when she was appointed Dame of the British Empire by her majesty the Queen Elizabeth the Second. In 2007, she was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Fashion at the British Fashion Awards in London. This was also the year in which she received recognition for her continued hard work: an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Heriot Watt University, an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Dundee University, a Fellowship at King's College London, as well as a distinction from the Royal College of Art for her services to fashion.
Photo credit: Andy Gotts, MBE