Route to the top

Vivienne Westwood’s life as a teacher was turned around when she met fellow maverick entrepreneurial spirit Malcolm McLaren, she ended up becoming the designer for their joint venture that started out with a retail outlet, Let It Rock, in London’s King’s Road. One of the architects of the punk movement, she moved on from shocking tabloids and middle England with bondage trousers and other wacky gear, to turning the fashion world upside with her successive 1980s collections.


Key achievements

  • She has built up a global fashion brand and retail operation, with more than 60 outlets around the world.
  • She is now a Dame, after first picking up an OBE, each in recognition of her work for the fashion industry.
  • Dame Vivienne Westwood has gone from dressing Johnny Rotten and co to designing for global superstars and making clothes for key members of the Royal Family for weddings and state occasions.


Lessons For Your Store

1 Don’t be afraid to go against the grain – Ms Westwood has never taken the easy route and has never been afraid to shock

2 Take inspiration from anywhere – Vivienne Westwood has famously pilfered and borrowed from styles throughout the ages to create collections

3 Look to extend the brand – the fashion range now has a global reach, with stores across the US and Asia, as well as the UK