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Melanie Metcalf

BA (Hons) Fashion Management and Communication 26032115

CONTENTS 2 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY METHODOLOGY 3 HISTORY 5 LABELS 5 Vivienne Westwood 6 Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood 7 Man AW16/17 8 Anglomania AW16/17 9 PRODUCTS 11 STORES 13




19 COMMUNICATION 21 Advertising 22 Websites and Social Media 23 BIBLIOGRAPHY


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report examines Vivienne Westwood as a brand, considering Westwood’s work in the early 1970s through to the brand’s current position in the market today. The product offer has recently been consolidated as a result of restructuring, providing Westwood’s husband, who is Creative Director of the brand, with an eponymous label in recognition of his leading role on the design team. The brand’s unique identity is discussed, considering the emotional impact this has on consumers and the resulting effect on their buying behaviour and loyalty to the brand. The brand’s intrinsic ‘Britishness’ is identified as a strong element of the brand’s identity, as is Westwood’s use of the brand as a vehicle to raise awareness for her philanthropic

work, which resonates strongly with her target group. The position Westwood occupies in the market and the brand’s closest competitors and their impact on market share is considered. The fact that the offer is completely unique and so intrinsically Westwood that she stands on her own as a brand is also identified. The communication strategy is discussed, making effective use of advertising, websites, social media, celebrity endorsement and gifting. Westwood’s ability to use the media to her own advantage and her opinion that no publicity is bad publicity is also identified.

METHODOLOGY This report has been compiled using primary research collected through observation in Westwood’s London and Manchester stores in the UK. Secondary research has been conducted using books, journals and websites.


Vivienne Westwood is a former teacher with no formal fashion design training. She learnt how to construct clothes at a young age, motivated by a desire to wear items that were unattainable on her meagre budget, preferring to spend what little cash she had on ‘expensive shoes’. She then refined her craft in the early 1970s by dismantling original 1950s teddy boy clothes to further enhance her knowledge in tailoring and construction techniques. In 1971 Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren opened their first shop at 430 Kings Road called ‘Let It Rock’, selling 1950s vintage clothing, original designs made by Westwood, music and memorabilia. In 1972 the shop was rebranded with a skull and crossbones and the name was changed to ‘Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die’ with a shift to selling biker clothing. In 1973, after a trip with McLaren to New York, she became interested in punk fashion. On their return they changed the name of their shop to ‘SEX’ and Westwood began designing and making punk clothes incorporating safety pins, razor blades, bicycle chains and tartan fabric (which has now become synonymous with the brand). In 1975 McLaren created the Sex Pistols. The combination of Westwood’s designs and the increasing popularity of the Sex Pistols (managed by McLaren) was the beginning of a new era of antifashion punk that filtered into the mainstream raising the profile of their shop and creating a renowned retail destination. In 1977 the shop was renamed again ‘Seditionaries’ and then ‘World’s End’ in 1980; a name which it still retains today. In 1981 Westwood designed ‘Pirates’; her first collection shown in Paris. This collection was largely responsible for moving the niche New Romantic movement into the mainstream with pop acts such


as Bow Wow Wow, Adam and the Ants and Boy George wearing her designs. Items from this seminal collection are still sold in Word’s End today, over 30 years after their conception; quite an achievement considering today’s society where overconsumption and excessive production of short-lived disposable items is commonplace.

Worlds End’s mission statement: “The shop has a triumphant history of creating “clothes for heroes” - dandies, rockers, punks and pirates. “Worlds End Look” is chosen from classics with items from the latest Vivienne Westwood collection, special samples and one-offs”

Above left to right: McLaren outside ‘Let it Rock’ in the early 1970s. Sex publicity shot, 1976. Westwood and McClaren , 1976. Westwood’s Jubilee outfit, 1977. Left to right: Pirates collection, 1981. Pirates collection, 1981 Bow, Wow, Wow Below left to right: World’s End current retail display. World’s End tops, current stock World’s End boots, current stock. World’s End current shop front.


The Vivienne Westwood brand incorporates haute couture, women’s and men’s ready to wear, shoes, bags, eyewear, diamond and costume jewellery, bridal wear, watches, fragrances, accessories, interiors, stationary and luggage.


Vivienne Westwood AW16/17

Vivienne Westwood AW16/17

Vivienne Westwood AW16/17


ANDREAS KRONTHALER FOR VIVIENNE WESTWOOD AW16/17 The brand has recently made a decision to restructure. After this restructuring four labels remain:

Andreas Kronthaler foe Vivienne Westwood AW16/17

Vivienne Westwood AW16/17

The original ‘Gold Label’ and ‘Red Label’ lines have been merged to create ‘Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood’ designed by her husband, Andreas Kronthaler, the Creative Director of the brand. Westwood also continues to design her eponymous label ‘Vivienne Westwood’. Price points for these labels are circa £1,000 to £6,000 for a dress; this is indicative of an industry wide move towards unified labels where ready to wear and premium diffusion lines are merged and unified to provide one definitive style point of view less constrained by price.


MAN AW16/17

‘Man’, the menswear line, is aimed at ‘Anglomania’, the diffusion range, aims to deliver contemporary trends whilst still retaining a retrospective aesthetic. This label delivers the brand to a much younger and more casual audience and is consequently sold at a much lower, more accessible price point. Dresses retail at circa £350.



‘Anglomania’, the diffusion range, aims to deliver contemporary trends whilst still retaining a retrospective aesthetic. This label delivers the brand to a much younger and more casual audience and is consequently sold at a much lower, more accessible price point. Dresses retail at circa £350.



Accessories Footwear Fragrance Eyewear Jewellery Furnishing Stationary Luggage Handbags


Flagship Store, Conduit Street, London

Westwood has increased her international profile through accessories and product licensing. Products are sold in over 80 countries, across five continents. There are over 700 points of sale worldwide.

Menswear Store, Conduit Street, London

including a Couture shop in London devoted to bridal and VIP customers.

However, the brand is still relatively small by worldwide designer standards. There are 115 Westwood owned shops worldwide. Asia has by far the strongest presence with 97 shops located in Asia alone which is the brand’s largest and most lucrative market. There are 11 standalone stores in the UK

Flagship Store, Conduit Street, London


Menswear Store, Conduit Street, London


Spring Gardens, Manchester

Couture Store, Davies Street, London

Spring Gardens, Manchester

Couture Store, Davies Street, London


Vivienne Westwood is a distinctly British brand with its roots firmly set in London. The brand’s inextricable ‘Britishness’ is communicated through the use of British tailoring and dressmaking techniques and fabrics such as Harris Tweed, Scottish tartans, Irish linens and wools. Tartan is particularly synonymous with the Westwood brand to the extent that she has designed her own tartan pattern named ‘Westwood MacAndreas’, registered on The Scottish Register of tartans. The brand offers a unique combination of cutting edge and classic design with Westwood’s personality, interests and beliefs reflected in all the collections. Her motivation has never been commercial success, despite the fact that many of her ideas have drifted into the mainstream and been very commercially successful. Fashion has provided a successful vehicle for her to communicate her political views and raise the profile of her philanthropic work which has had a positive effect on the brand’s identity and ethos. However, this is incidental to Westwood, her actions are rooted in strong personal beliefs and her motivation is certainly not to increase the profile of her brand. This ‘truth’ makes the positive effect on the brand even stronger as customers today are able to identify false and contrived branding initiatives. Signage, packaging and shop design are coherent with the brand identity and each is instantly recognisable as Westwood. The orb logo is used as an effective tool to distil the essence of brand. The ‘royal orb’ bestows an air of grandeur and, more


significantly, heritage. In addition, the use of a font with flourishes and tails conveys elegance. The logo is printed in metallic gold on packaging, signifying luxury. The orb has become an iconic emblem that it is instantly recognisable as Vivienne Westwood, even without the accompanying name. This has supported the sale of branded products which have become popular and highly lucrative lines.

“A brand is created out of a total package including not only the garments, retail environment, packaging and advertising but also the meanings, values and associations that consumers ascribe to the brand.� (Posner, 2015)

Westwood MacAndreas tartan



“without customers there is no business, so detailed knowledge of their preferences, motivations and purchasing behaviour is crucial” (Posner, 2015)

Westwood’s consumer profile is not bound by age but more by a sense of style and moral awareness. Customers are both male and female and value a unique look with attitude and style. By buying Westwood as a brand, they are signifying their social and environmental awareness. They are fashion conscious but do not slavishly follow trends, preferring to be original and stand out and maybe even be offensive from time to time but they also appreciate great quality and construction.

of merchandise where head to toe branded Westwood is a highly desirable look.

Customers use fashion to make a statement about themselves and control how they are perceived by others. As a result of this, many of Westwood’s customers connect positively with the brand because their attitudes and beliefs are similar to hers. This connects the customer to the brand on an emotional level providing a much stronger bond than just coveting the products. The price points of the brand fall into the premium and luxury categories and are aimed at customers who are likely to be middle to high earners. However, the brand extends beyond this, specifically with branded products that many, on much lower incomes than the core target group, save up to buy. Japan in particular is a very large market for this type


“Brand positioning is both the strategic management of a brand’s position relative to its competitors in the market as well as the perception of the brand’s position in the mind of consumers” (Posner, 2015) The brand’s price points and offer fall within the luxury and high-end premium markets. Very recently the brand has also become part of the see-now, buy-now trend, with the decision to offer a capsule collection of 20 pieces from their unisex collection for immediate purchase after their Paris show in October 2016. Westwood’s offer is completely unique and so

intrinsically Westwood that she stands on her own as a brand. There are other brands that operate in the same market but it is difficult to isolate a brand that competes directly as there is no other brand that has a comparable brand identity. However, other brands that operate in the same market and offer a similar avant garde style are as follows:

Alexander McQueen offers a similar price point to customers that have a distinctive and individual sense of style. However, McQueen is more current than Westwood, tapping into current trends and relying less on historical and retrospective references.

17 Vivienne Westwood AW16/17


Jean Paul Gaultier is renowned for creativity and fabulous tailoring. He is also similarly irreverent and inclined to shock. However, in 2015 he announced that he was closing his ready to wear labels in order to focus on haute couture collections. Therefore, although there are similarities between the two brands and the type of customer they are likely to attract, Gaultier only currently competes directly with Westwood within the highend luxury market.

Christopher Kane is similarly known for expert tailoring and pushing the boundaries with innovative design. He again operates at a similar price point with a comparable target group of individuals that like to stand out from the crowd. However, Westwood has a rich history and clear brand identity. In comparison, Christopher Kane as a brand was only launched in 2006 and is therefore relatively new to the luxury market.

18 Vivienne Westwood AW16/17


Marketing communications can be defined as “a process through which organisations and audiences engage with one another. Through an understanding of an audience’s preferred communication environments… By conveying messages that are of significant value, participants are encouraged to offer attitudinal and emotional behavioural responses.” (Fill, 2013)

Vivienne Westwood’s media strategy is simple yet effective, focussing on magazine advertisements and editorial, social media, celebrity endorsement and gifting. Westwood also continues to show in Paris, Milan and London maintaining brand profile on a global stage. Celebrities are used to draw attention to the brand and its messages. The brand actively gifts clothing to celebrities but not indiscriminately. Celebrities are carefully chosen for their profile and alignment with the brand. For those celebrities not offered clothing free of charge a substantial 50% discount is provided. If sales significantly increase as a result of the celebrity wearing the purchased item, future items will be gifted. In today’s celebrity obsessed world, celebrity can be used as a powerful tool to raise the profile of a brand often leading to vastly increased sales on items endorsed or publicly worn by a high profile celebrity. Westwood has spent the best part of her life in the spotlight and therefore understands how to use the media to her own advantage. She is of the opinion that no publicity is bad publicity. This was illustrated after her appearance on Wogan in 1988 when her designs were ridiculed by Sue Lawley (guest hosting at the time) and the audience. Far from being upset, she later commented “that went down quite well. I was mindful about what Malcolm had taught me about publicity”. This ethos was also proved in 1993 when Naomi Campbell famously tripped on the catwalk wearing extremely high Westwood platforms. The clip was played worldwide gaining massive media exposure for the brand.


“When Vivienne speaks you should listen”


Advertisements appear in high-end, glossy fashion magazines aimed at fashion forward readers such as Vogue, Elle and Vanity Fair. Their visuals are often eccentric and sometimes controversial, making bold statements relating to politics and the environment continually reinforcing the brand identity. Vivienne and Andreas also appear in much of the advertising. Westwood in particular is the instantly recognisable, iconic face of the brand.


WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA The brand’s ecommerce website is well designed and easy to navigate. The Westwood World Blog, accessed via the ecommerce site, contains brand related articles. There are also links to the ‘Climate Revolution’ site and the ‘World’s End’ site.

Westwood chronicles her philanthropic activities on her website, ‘Climate Revolution’. She discusses her activities, campaigns and beliefs reaching a wider audience than those who are solely interested in her clothing designs. In 2014, Westwood famously cut off her hair in support of climate change action.

The brand operates a Facebook page where salient stories are shared, there are also links to the ‘Climate Revolution’ and ‘World’s End’ blogs and an opportunity to sign up for the brand newsletter. Instagram is also used with a following

of circa 703,000. The use of social media offers a direct route to customers, enabling two-way communication to take place, facilitating a personal dialogue between a brand and its customers and therefore creating a stronger, more personal bond.


(2016). Retrieved 31 October 2016, from http://fashionista. com/2016/02/vivienne-westwood-andreas-kronthaler (2016). Retrieved 7 November 2016, from fashion-scoops/westwood-kronthaler-to-test-see-now-buy-now-capsule-10608659/ (2016). Retrieved 7 November 2016, from jean-paul-gaultier-to-stop-ready-to-wear-collection Andreas Kronthaler. (2016). Retrieved 31 October 2016, from Christopher Kane: The Stargazer. (2016). WWD. Retrieved 3 November 2016, from Climate Revolution. (2016). Retrieved 31 October 2016, from Fill, C., & Dawsonera. (2013). Marketing communications : Brands, experiences and participation (Sixth ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education. Hancock, J. (2016). Brand/story: Cases and explorations in fashion branding (Second ed.). History. (2016). Vivienne Westwood. Retrieved 31 October 2016, from http:// HUME, M., 1994. Vogue’s View: Portrait of a Former Punk. Vogue, 184(9), pp. 187-187, 190, 194, 206. Krell, G., & Westwood, V. (1997). Vivienne Westwood. Thames & Hudson. McDermott, C., Ehrman, E., Westwood, V., & Kilfoyle, M. (2000). Vivienne Westwood : A London fashion. Philip Wilson. Mulvagh, J., & Westwood, V. (1998). Vivienne Westwood : An unfashionable life. HarperCollins. Posner, H. Marketing fashion. R.I.P., Age of Fashion Division(s). (2016). Retrieved 1 November 2016, from Vivienne Westwood: ‘You have a more interesting life if you wear. (2016). The Independent. Retrieved 31 October 2016, from http://www.independent. Vivienne Westwood: climate change, not fashion, is now my priority. (2016). the Guardian. Retrieved 31 October 2016, from https://www.theguardian. com/lifeandstyle/2014/feb/08/vivienne-westwood-arctic-campaign Vogue’s View: From London with Love. 1983. Vogue, 173(7), pp. 140. Wilcox, C., & Westwood, V. (2004). Vivienne Westwood. V&A.


Vivienne Westwood - Brand Report  

This report examines Vivienne Westwood as a brand, considering Westwood’s work in the early 1970s through to the brand’s current position in...

Vivienne Westwood - Brand Report  

This report examines Vivienne Westwood as a brand, considering Westwood’s work in the early 1970s through to the brand’s current position in...