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Internationally-renowned fashion designer Vivienne Westwood died yesterday (Thursday December 29) peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London.

“The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better,” said the family's statement on her official Twitter account.

Vivienne Westwood played a major role in transforming the image and market for Harris Tweed fabric and products.

Harris Tweed merits an entire page of display on her website -

This states: “For well over a century, islanders of the Outer Hebrides of Scotland have woven the beautiful and intricate cloth known as Harris Tweed. It is the only fabric in the world that is protected by its own Act of Parliament, meaning that by law, the cloth must be made from pure virgin wool which has been dyed and spun on the islands and handwoven at the home of the weaver.

“Vivienne Westwood first worked with Harris Tweed in 1987. The Autumn-Winter 1987/88 ‘Harris Tweed’ collection was instrumental in reviving its use as a fashion fabric and led to other designers using the cloth in their collections, giving a much-needed boost to the local industry.

And her work with Harris Tweed figures in the National Museum of Scotland -

Westwood came to public notice when she made clothes for the boutique that she and Malcolm McLaren ran on King's Road. Their ability to synthesise clothing and music shaped the 1970s UK punk scene, which was dominated by McLaren's band, the Sex Pistols.

Westwood opened four shops in London and eventually expanded throughout Britain and the world, selling an increasingly varied range of merchandise, some of which promoted her many political causes such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, climate change and civil rights groups.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer wrote yesterday that Westwood's "unique voice will be irreplaceable and will be missed.”

The Victoria and Albert Museum, which houses some of her works, described Westwood as a "true revolutionary and rebellious force in fashion".