Why Vivienne Westwood Went Punk

You know that Vivienne Westwood is an inspiring, one-of-a-kind designer, but did you know about her punk past?

During the risk of punk in 1970s Britain (after it began in New York), Westwood aligned herself with the likes of the Sex Pistols and the late Malcolm McLaren, and helped honed that distinct “punk rock” aesthetic that’s still channeled today.

However, Vogue UK reports that in a new Amnesty International film, Vivienne explains that she turned to punk, not because it was hip, but because of the politics; because she felt she neeed to do something.

“I was so upset with what was going on in the world,” she explains. “I just couldn’t stand the idea of people being tortured, and that we even had such a thing as a war. I hated the older generation, who had not done anything about it. Punk was a call-to-arms about me.”

Westwood’s message in the Amnesty International film is a call to arms, too. In it, she asks us to think about women like Azza Hilal Ahmad Suleiman, who came to the defense of another woman in Egypt, and was in turn assaulted by soldiers.

It just goes to show you: not only is punk not dead, fashion really can be about expression. Vivienne Westwood, guys! More hardcore than we’ll ever be.

Tags: Amnesty International, Malcolm McLaren, punk, punk rock, Sex Pistols, Vivienne Westwood

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