My Westwood journey was born the day I walked past Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania collection at a fashion tradeshow in Las Vegas. I decided at that moment to add the brand to our assortment when I was the head of Zappos Couture back in 2008.

Years later, the choice to buy her brand that day ultimately landed me the most splendid position as the president of sales for Vivienne Westwood America. I was blessed to be working for a true icon and legend in the fashion industry.

Vivienne made punk rock fashion a phenomenon, reinvented the corset and with every collection was always years ahead of her time. Her styles were not made for the mass-market client but for those of us who want to express ourselves and who dare to “live fast and die young,” one of her most famous statements. 


She transformed the way we view fashion and was incredibly influential, staying focused on environmental issues throughout her career. Her messages spoke loudly and clearly on her designs: Vivienne inspired her customers to focus on important messages through her collections like Stop War, Climate Revolution, Politicians are Criminals, Save the Arctic and more.

Vivienne and her team at Westwood despised war - especially the one in Ukraine - and she spoke out many times throughout her career about how war is the biggest polluter.

Plus she wrote a daily blog, “Climate Revolution,” where Vivienne featured me the day of the U.S. election in 2016 talking with her about how America needed to “wake up” and not vote for Donald Trump.



Jen Sidary

I was lucky enough to spend time with her in Paris, Milan, and London where she taught all of us how corrupt the world and people can be.

Vivienne was so passionate about saving the environment she would literally prefer to even reuse her tea bags.  When in the Paris showroom we would have to leave a note on them to tell the staff not to throw them out so she could use them a second or third time. She would be upset if someone trashed them as she was completely committed to recycling.



Vivienne Westwood. Photo Jen Sidary

I also vividly remember watching her perfect a garment. She would see every detail and change just the smallest part of it so the design would be impeccable. All my friends who worked directly with her on the design process said they learned so much working with Vivienne and she was their ultimate teacher. There was nothing like watching her work and until recently she still rode a push bike to the design studio in London.

To this day about half my closet is filled with Vivienne Westwood designs and the other half with Ukrainian fashion designs. I’d say my wardrobe is perfection with the mix of such talent.

The Westwood company consisted of a crew that were some of the most unconventional cast of characters and I fit right in. Thankfully I still have the Vivienne Westwood team of people who reside all around the world in my life so we will fight to uphold her values together for future generations. The world will be less informed without her daily activism and influence. She was a true legend; the greatest disruptor and I will miss her terribly.

Vivienne died on Dec 29.


Jen Sidary. Facebook

Jen Sidary has led and implemented partnerships between brands and established retailers from around the world, with a career spanning more than three decades. 


Sidary founded in April 2022, a multi-brand fashion eCommerce website to support Ukrainian designers and their companies to survive the war. She has worked across several ambitious projects with USAID Competitive Economy Program as a fashion industry expert showcasing Ukrainian brands at New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. 

Prior to her work with Ukraine, Sidary was formerly the President of Sales for Vivienne Westwood America and the Head of Zappos Couture.


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