She's worked in a factory and was a primary school teacher for a while. But it's her career as a fashion designer which has brought her fame. She's been designing clothes and shoes which have seized the headlines since the late 70s.
Dame Vivenne Westwood has won British Designer of the year three times and has influenced young designers in the UK and around the world with her particular take on fashion: subversive, funny and quirky.
The New Elizabethans have been chosen by a panel of leading historians, chaired by Lord (Tony) Hall, Chief Executive of London's Royal Opera House. The panellists were Dominic Sandbrook, Bamber Gascoigne, Sally Alexander, Jonathan Agar, Maria Misra and Sir Max Hastings.
They were asked to choose: "Men and women whose actions during the reign of Elizabeth II have had a significant impact on lives in these islands and/or given the age its character, for better or worse."
Producer: Sukey Firth.