The Vivienne Westwood legacy

What can we learn from the iconic fashion designer?

Our first post of the year is a tribute to Vivienne Westwood, one of the most revolutionary figures in the fashion system. Sadly, the iconic fashion designer passed away on December 29, aged 81.

Also known as the queen of punk because she started her career in the seventies with her punk designs, Westwood was consistent with her style throughout her life.

Rather than retracing her influential career, we prefer to pinpoint what made her unique, highlight her legacy and see what we can learn from it.

What is peculiar is that her fashion wasn’t the expression of finance but reflected her free creativity and values. Most importantly, she worked for something bigger than fashion. Indeed, she used her voice not only to make clothes but as a platform to raise awareness, fight climate change and support human rights.

Vivienne Westwood and sustainable fashion

“Buy less, choose well, make it last. Quality, non quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes.”

Vivienne Westwood

The above quote is the base of sustainable fashion and the essence of an evolved style. But also, it is the guiding principle for a sustainable lifestyle.

First, “buy less!” – nothing is more sustainable than this! So, reject the obsession with novelties and become a selective, conscious consumer. Reducing the number of pieces we purchase means taking only meaningful garments.
Second, “choose well”: pay attention to quality and design. So, learn to discern good quality from the rubbish, which we don’t have to support necessarily.
Third, “make it last”: love your clothes, and learn to take care of them properly. Also learn to mix and match them, as beautiful pieces are never inappropriate.

However, here you can understand the inconsistency of the fashion industry. Indeed, fashion brands talk about sustainability but put into production tons of new items every season. Not to mention fast fashion brands, who release new clothing pieces every week!

A legacy to grasp

Being a political and environmental activist, Vivienne Westwood recently said: “Capitalism is a crime. It is the root cause of war, climate change and corruption.”

But, aren’t the same top brands part of that capitalistic game?

We can learn a lot from someone who worked with such a passion and has never conformed to the standards. Or to the logo obsession we see today. The Vivienne Westwood legacy shows that fashion without a vision is nothing. Therefore, sustainable fashion without ideas and without good design is just marketing. Another business added to the many other ones already existing.

Of course, the power of unpopular ideas stands out.
Will any young designer grasp this legacy?

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