| MILAN, June 24
MILAN, June 24 British fashion designer Vivienne
Westwood said on Monday that she has no plans to further expand
in China and defended the high prices of her designs as a way to
encourage customers to buy fewer clothes.
Westwood, who started selling clothes in London in the
swinging 60s and now has shops in 15 other countries, said she
is assessing her company, its operations and its aims.
"I want to backtrack and control it," Westwood said before
showing her men's spring/summer 2014 collection in Milan. "I
don't want to expand in China anymore at the moment."
Westwood, an environmental activist, said she has turned her
attention to her supply chain, starting with the material used
to make the protest T-shirts that have become a feature of her
"We do a lot of T-shirts and at least I've managed to get
the jersey that we use for the T-shirts, which comes from Peru
mostly. It's organic and it's not harmful," she said.
For the Milan show, staff and some models wore T-shirts
supporting U.S. Army private Bradley Manning, who is accused of
releasing hundreds of thousands of classified files, videos and
other data to the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website.
A romantic idea of India, which was chosen by her husband
and creative director, Andreas Kronthaler, is the theme of the
show, which featured Harem-style trousers, kaftans and chunky
necklaces along with military berets.
Westwood, dressed in a grey sequined dress she had worn
before, said she hoped other fashion icons such as Britain's
Queen Elizabeth and the duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton,
would also re-wear their clothes.
The designer added that she isn't worried about people's
changing habits squeezing her profits.
"If people like my clothes, it's good if they don't buy
things for six months, then they'll be able to afford them," she
Westwood defended the cost of her designs, which carry high
price tags, with a man's suit costing about 800 pounds
"I think it's ecologically friendly that the clothes should
be expensive," she added.
($1 = 0.6495 British pounds)
(Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Patricia Reaney and Steve