Vivienne Westwood Creates Unisex Collection for Fall
“We’re very keen on unisex. It sounds like a joke, but in fact it’s all about styling. Swapping clothes with your partner means you can spend less.”
London’s queen of punk, Vivienne Westwood, will be back on the catwalk for fall on Monday with a unisex collection that fuses her Man men’s wear line and her Red Label women’s wear collection. The new main line collection, Vivienne Westwood, which will be streamed live at 2:00 GMT on January 10, is an exercise in efficiency and environmental friendliness.
“I’m trying to make my company a model company for the age in which we live, in the hope that we do have a future and that the world will not fall victim to climate change,” Westwood said in an interview.
“We’re showing in London for the sake of efficiency because we’re at home,” added the designer, who previously showed Red Label in London and Man in Milan. The move is also part of a slimming down and reorganization of the business — which is all about “‘less is more” — and sending a clear brand message for the industry and the end-consumer.
Westwood said her company’s maxim is now “Buy less, choose well, make it last,” which limits the exploitation of the planet’s natural resources. “We’re very keen on unisex. It sounds like a joke, but in fact it’s all about styling. Swapping clothes with your partner means you can spend less. For at least 100 years women have been wearing trousers but now like the Arabs, men are wearing dresses.”
Quality not quantity doesn’t just apply to product, but to day-to-day work as well, Westwood contends. “It means the people on our team make decisions according to taste and judgment — very little to do with sales figures and statistics. A happy company is an efficient company because everything flows, people feel rewarded and secure in what they’re trying to do.”
Westwood said the latest collection was inspired by “art, craft and theater; clothes inspired by culture. We’re a high-fashion company. It’s skilled, labor-intensive, veers towards the artisanal; one of its features is that, through cutting principles, we mass produce clothes that look couture.”
The London show is not the only unisex outing for Westwood: In October, the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood collection debuted during Paris fashion week. It is positioned as a unisex concept collection that sits alongside the Vivienne Westwood main line.
The brand also tested a see-now-buy-now 20-piece capsule range during the Paris show. The collection included dresses, sportswear and jersey daywear, tailored and casual jackets and a cotton shopper. Kronthaler is Westwood’s creative director, design partner and husband.
Vivienne Westwood is one of many design houses, including Burberry and Paul Smith, to consolidate its collections and clarify its offering to suit new consumer habits and trends.
Follow @FollowWestwood on Twitter for links to the livestream.
A portion of this article originally ran on WWD, January 6, 2017.