Vivienne Westwood began designing in 1971 along with her then partner Malcolm McLaren in London, and it was in 1976 when they defined the street culture of Punk with Seditionaries. By the end of the seventies Vivienne Westwood was considered a symbol of the British avant-garde and showed her first catwalk show in 1981, she then turned to traditional Savile Row tailoring techniques, using British fabrics and 17th and 18th century art for inspiration.
1989 was the year that Vivienne met Andreas Kronthaler, who would later become her husband and long-time design partner, as well as Creative Director for the house. In 2004 the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, hosted a Vivienne Westwood retrospective exhibition to celebrate her then 34 years in fashion – the largest exhibition ever devoted to a living British fashion designer. In 2006, her contribution to British Fashion was officially recognised when she was appointed Dame of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.