Vivienne Westwood Window Display Denounces Domestic Violence Toward Women


British designer Vivienne Westwood is renowned for her eccentricity and punk attitude toward all fashion “rules”. There’s nothing like a fashion rebel to disrupt the silent masses and send an important message.

In the fashion capital of the world, Milan, Italy, Vivienne created a window display of probably some of her best work. It got tongues wagging not because of the fabric or cut of the clothes, but the mannequins. Westwood decided to do the exact opposite of what people expected of her to create something that would be thought-provoking, and create more of a lasting impression than any design could.

She dressed up a group of mannequins in a window display at her flagship store in downtown Milan with ripped clothing, and had them painted with black eyes and bruises all over the body. It was made as a statement to men and women in Italy. In a sign behind the mannequins were statements telling the public that 1 in 3 women in Italy is the victim of domestic violence and that 120 women died that year previously from domestic violence related injuries. Shocking and sad.

In a country that has given us such a creative, rich artistic history, an issue like domestic violence should not be shoved under the carpet but be spoken about openly. Vivienne Westwood is a fashion activist of sorts, advocating for environmental justice and ethical fashion. No doubt she has seen some ugly things in the industry in her career.


If mannequins are supposed to be a “reflection” of the people who will wear the clothes, then isn’t it a harrowing thought to see domestic violence displayed and exposed in this way.

We hope this video, which was originally released on November 25, 2012 (Worldwide Day Against Women’s Abuse) and has since been blowing up on the internet recently, will allow men and women around the world to not stay silent, and to take action wherever necessary. There are many organizations in countries such as India, Egypt and Canada who are creating viral videos like Westwood’s to spread awareness in new ways that will hopefully leave a lasting impression on social conscience.

If this display inspires other designers to use their platform to speak about about important issues, then it was worth all the controversy. It is worth noting the incredible influence the fashion and advertising world has on our everyday lives, and if more designers used their voices for something that can affect consumer’s lives in a positive way, then we are heading toward a new era. An era where this powerful industry can dictate values for human rights, women’s confidence, body acceptance, diversity, and more.

Thank you Vivienne for being a rebel with a cause: for humanity, for women, and demanding a greater respect for one other.


  1. Pingback: Powerful Video Showing The Effects Of Domestic Abuse In Front Of Children

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