Andreas Kronthaler is a fashion designer. Born in Tyrol, Austria, Andreas Kronthaler’s first foray into the arts was at the age of 14 when he entered art school in Graz, Austria, where he spent the next five years training to be a jeweller. During this period, Kronthaler also experimented with various media, experimenting in sculptures and installations as well as with sewing and textiles. He began making clothes and selling them to stores locally, as a way of supporting himself through school.
After completing his diploma, Kronthaler applied for a place in the Vienna School of Applied Arts to study Industrial Design. He continued his clothes-making business to pay his way through school and developed his tailoring skills along the way. Soon he realised that his interest was in fashion and reapplied to study fashion design.
In 1988, Kronthaler met Vivienne Westwood when she arrived to teach at the university in his first year. During the year, Kronthaler created a series of dresses inspired by the Renaissance. Circular and over-length, the dresses could be worn in infinite ways by incorporating a belt. Westwood invited Kronthaler to London to develop this system, and in 1989, Kronthaler came to London where he worked with Westwood on her collection, and also took the opportunity to expand on the design of these dresses. Called 'sun-wheel dresses', they were finally used in Westwood’s collection in the same season. Since then, Kronthaler stayed on with Vivienne Westwood where his role progressed and grew, collaborating and working with Westwood to develop subsequent collections.
Kronthaler and Westwood got married in 1993. Over the years, Kronthaler has chosen to be a silent partner, preferring to take a less public role but their partnership is nevertheless one of fashion’s most formidable. While Westwood was unconventional and challenging, Kronthaler was driven by quality and progress.
Andreas Kronthaler became Creative Director of Vivienne Westwood and oversaw the seasonal collection of four clothing ranges–Gold Label, Red Label, Man and Anglomania–as well as bags, jewellery, footwear and eyewear. In 2016, the company underwent restructuring, announcing that only Vivienne Westwood's main line and Gold Label would continue production, with Gold Label being renamed as Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood to reflect Kronthaler's influence on the line, having been its creative director for 25 years.