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Vivienne Westwood

A designer with a meandering life

Derek Hudson/Getty Images

Many people believe that our consumption choices express more than just our material desires, that they are representative of our character and our values. Vivienne Westwood has bet on the popularity of these beliefs and developed a brand narrative that invites its audience to get lost in her enticing world of whimsical designs, all in the name of saving our own. Westwood is a world-builder, crafting realms of pirates and witches through her collections on the premise that “sometimes you need to transport your ideas to a world that doesn’t exist and then populate it with fantastic looking people.” In return for her creative gifts, Westwood asks consumers to re-evaluate their consumption choices to create a more sustainable fashion industry. Is it possible that wearing Vivienne Westwood could be an ethical choice, a path towards a better world? Or is this kind of environmental activism performative, just another marketing strategy?

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