Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood dead at 81

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Fashion designer, activist and businesswoman Vivienne Westwood died Thursday at the age of 81. 

"Vivienne Westwood died today, peacefully and surrounded by her family, in Clapham, South London," her namesake fashion brand's official Twitter account posted. "The world needs people like Vivienne to make a change for the better." 

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British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood waves to the audience after presenting the Vivienne Westwood fashion collection from the men’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection, part of the Milan Fashion Week, unveiled in Milan on June 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File / AP Newsroom)

Westwood was an English fashion designer whose many accolades included a dress she designed that was featured prominently in the 2008 film continuation of the "Sex and the City" TV series. 

British designer Vivienne Westwood speaks to the media after her Anglomania Spring/Summer 2010 collection show at Selfridges in London on Nov. 16, 2009. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan, File / AP Newsroom)

Westwood was also known for her political activism. In 2007, she transferred from the Labour Party to the Conservative Party over the issue of civil liberties, and in 2015, she changed again to the Green Party. Westwood had been known to care specifically about nuclear disarmament, climate change and animal rights. In 2017, she endorsed Labour candidate Jeremy Corbyn. She also called for the release of Julian Assange, and wrote a manifesto critiquing consumerism in modern society. 

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British designer Vivienne Westwood acknowledges applause after her Fall/Winter 2001 ready-to-wear fashion show in Paris on March 15, 2001. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File / AP Newsroom)

She is survived by two sons, Derek Westwood and Joseph Corré.

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