December 29, 2022

Vivienne Westwood, a hero of mine, has died. Amanda and I named our first daughter Vivienne largely inspired by Westwood and her many creative evolutions and activism. I discovered Vivienne Westwood through her fashion for the Sex Pistols. I vividly remember the first time my friend John Reigart put Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols on the turntable. My arm hairs stood up the moment I heard the album opener, “Holidays in the Sun.” The Sex Pistols made a perfect debut album, and they changed my life by introducing me to the ways music and its culture could impact society. The Sex Pistols created an incredible cultural upheaval but they did it with the help of several talented people: A large portion of the credit should go to Vivienne Westwood for creating the fashion look of punk. However, Westwood was creatively restless and notoriously anti-orthodoxy, so she evolved quickly from punk despite being one of its progenitors. Westwood’s fashion collections remained daring and relevant for over 40 years. I met her a couple of times and had a few drinks with her in 2007 after visiting her studio. We sat outside so she could smoke and despite the fact that it was freezing out, she was warm and articulated her philosophies with wit, attitude, and precision. She also still possessed revolutionary optimism while acknowledging existential threats like climate change. It was the exact experience I was hoping for! Thanks for all the inspiration Vivienne!