Let's start by getting this out there: We love Vivienne Westwood. She's the godmother of '90s grunge and almost anything with that signature punky, safety-pin-using, low-fi aesthetic. She's one of today's best-known designers, but in her sit-down with Interview magazine, she proves there's a way to be famous and stay cool. Viv is refreshingly down-to-earth, and at 71, she's got more spunk than most 20-somethings. Our favorite thing about this fashion-designer-cum-activist? Her dedication to spreading the word about climate change.
In fact, before the Anglomaniac would even let Style.com's Tim Blanks start the interview, she insisted on giving a thorough speech about why climate change should be the number-one issue on everyone's minds. Pushing for more environmental activism is the only reason she does interviews at all, she says. For her, an ideal world is filled with streets packed with protesters demanding that governments worldwide work to undo damage before it's too late.
At first, we were excited to read her take on the many controversial and trendsetting creations of her label, but we got a lot more than we bargained for — and that's a good thing. So many interviews these days feel scripted, and with e-mail, it's all too easy for a publicist to step in. But for Viv, that's clearly not the case. Though Westwood comes off as poised and articulate, she's also bold, to-the-point, and not afraid to share.
We sincerely hope more designers out there will follow in this self-proclaimed queen of awkwardness' footsteps. She did an amazing job of reminding us that the power of fashion can — and should — be used for a cause, without being condescending. Huzzah, VW, and may we all be inspired by your candor and dedication. (Interview)