Dec 30, 2022
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Jeff Banks becomes director of Vivienne Westwood, tributes pour in for 'Queen of Punk'

Dec 30, 2022

Tributes from the world of fashion, celebrity, politics and activism have poured in for Dame Vivienne Westwood who has died aged 81. It has also been revealed in a Companies House filing that Jeff Banks became a director of her company just before Christmas. Fashion entrepreneur and TV presenter Banks has always been a friend and very vocal supporter of the designer and her work.

Vivienne Westwood - Spring-Summer2019 - Womenswear - Paris - DR

No further details have been forthcoming about that as the business is, understandably, still coping with the immediate fact of her passing.

On Instagram, Banks said: “It is with great sadness I recognise the passing of my dear friend Vivienne. My heart goes out to her family and husband Andreas. This is a moment in history. Someone who forced fashion forward in a crucible of heat combined with an unswerving dedication to fairness, justice and the salvation of our planet. A true originator who will forever stand head and shoulders above her contemporaries and take her place forever in the highest echelons of her craft. Rest in peace Vivienne. You did us all a great and everlasting service.”

As for the other tributes, Stella McCartney said she “inspired my career with bravery and bollocks”, while Victoria Beckham wrote that she was “so sad” to learn of her death. And Marc Jacobs said she “did it first. Always. Incredible style with brilliant and meaningful substance”.

Ingrid Newkirk, president of campaign group PETA, of which she was a big advocate, called her “an icon, a rebel, and a self-described ‘eco-warrior’. [She] spent decades as a designer daring the rest of the fashion world to start a revolution for animals and the planet. She was an early adopter of PETA’s fur-free ethos, choosing to donate her brand’s remaining rabbit fur bags to a wildlife sanctuary, and shed exotic skins from her collections years ago. The world has lost a true original and animals a true friend”.

Vivienne Westwood and Jeff Banks - Photo: @jeffbanks

The British Fashion Council added: “We are devastated… Through her creativity and innovation, she has led the way, inspiring others to be themselves. A fashion revolutionary, her work not only changed the fashion industry, giving birth to and defining punk, but it also drove positive change globally. Her legacy will define generations to come”.

Meanwhile, Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall called her a “true genius who never lost her northern grit” and hailed her “generosity and kindness”.

And Jamie Lee Curtis admitted to being “terrified” when Adam Ant (her boyfriend at the time) bought her some pieces from the influential Pirates Collection given how “avant-garde and punk and dangerous and rebellious” they were. But she added that “I wish I had those clothes today. A true icon. A talented dame”.

And Mayor of London Sadiq Khan hailed her as “a creative icon who helped cement the UK at the very forefront of modern fashion”.

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