Playing cards designed by Vivienne Westwood to go on sale in aid of Greenpeace

Playing Cards Designed By Vivienne Westwood To Go On Sale In Aid Of Greenpeace
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By Naomi Clarke, PA Senior Entertainment Reporter

A series of playing cards designed by the late Vivienne Westwood to raise awareness about environmental and political issues are to go up for sale to raise funds for Greenpeace.

Before her death in December 2022, the pioneering fashion designer and activist conceived the idea which takes 10 of her digital graphics which highlight messages close to her heart and sees them printed on large-scale autographed cards.


These limited-edition playing cards will now go under the hammer with the auction house Christie’s, who announced the posthumous project on what would have been Westwood's 83rd birthday.

The posthumous project was announced on what would have been the pioneering fashion designer’s 83rd birthday (CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD 2024/PA)

They will be sold in a portfolio which contains 10 digital prints that have been printed on Hahnemuhle Museum Etching 350gsms paper and signed with pencil.


The first portfolio, which will be presented in a unique linen-covered, hand-embroidered box, will be going to auction on June 25th with an estimate price of £30,000 to £50,000 (€34,000 to €58,000).

Titled The Big Picture – Vivienne’s Playing Cards, the project has been created by The Vivienne Foundation in aid of environmental charity Greenpeace.

Among the collection is a card which features a black and white photo of a young Westwood with short, spikey hair which has the words “ME PUNK” written across it and “save the world” printed along the border.

Another features a skull and cross bone design over a red and green coloured map of the world with the words “too fast to live / too young to die” marked over it alongside handwritten notes making reference to “uninhabitable land”.


The designer often featured playing cards in her campaigns and designs, with her idea to use them for her Climate Revolution project originally conceived in 2017.

For the project, she designed a set of playing cards using strong graphics to convey a “culture-led economic strategy to save the world”.

The project has been created by The Vivienne Foundation in aid of environmental charity Greenpeace (CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD 2024/PA)


The Vivienne Foundation said: “Throughout her lifetime Vivienne used her voice to lead a relentless fight for justice. Continuously highlighting the corruption in the world and trying her best to make the world a better place.

“It was Vivienne’s ambition prior to her death to raise a significant amount of money for Greenpeace to help them protect our rainforests and oceans and save the planet from climate change.

“Vivienne felt passionately driven to act when she learned about the Democratic Republic of Congo wanting to open up its precious rainforests for oil exploration and development.”

The foundation, which is the owner and custodian of Dame Vivienne’s art work and copyrights, also thanked those who helped bring the fashion designer’s wishes to life and that it was “proud” to be part of collaboration.


The limited-edition playing cards will now go under the hammer with the auction house Christie’s (CHRISTIE’S IMAGES LTD 2024/PA)

John Sauven, former executive director of Greenpeace UK, added: “Vivienne was well known as a rebel for most of her life but rarely without a cause. For Vivienne, activism was her life.

“She didn’t compartmentalise it. Fashion here, campaigning there. In fact, she always said everything is connected. Fashion. Art. Education. Activism. And she managed to fuse it all together in extraordinary ways.

“Vivienne has left us the playing cards, an important work of art, that enables her ideas to live on in all of us.”

Murray Macaulay, the head of prints & multiples for Europe at Christie’s, hailed The Big Picture project as the “late, great designer’s clarion cry for urgent action”.

“Juxtaposing slogans with a cut and paste aesthetic, and characteristic wit, Vivienne’s Playing Cards have been beautifully translated into print from the original digital files by Red Breast Editions”, he added.

“In the tradition of the polemic of print, it is a powerful provocation to collectively step-up to the challenges we face.”

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