Celebrating Australian Fashion Designer Carla Zampatti

Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti has died at the age of 78.

Credit: People

It has been reported that Zampatti died on Saturday morning at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. Tragically, Zampatti had fallen whilst attending an opera opening of La Traviata at Macquarie’s Point last week. Her death was also confirmed by her grieving family on her website over the weekend.

Australian celebrities, designers, and politicians have reacted with shock and sadness at the news of her death, calling the designer a “true trailblazer”. 

State Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement, “The family of Australian fashion icon Carla Zampatti AC has accepted the New South Wales Government’s offer of a state funeral.

“On behalf of the people of NSW, I extend by deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Carla.”

Dressing Throughout the Decades

Credit: Marie Claire

Carla Zampatti was both a champion of Australian female designers and a multicultural success story. Zampatti was an Italian native who relocated to Sydney with her family in the 1950s. She was 6 years old at the time. After noticing a gap in the market, her passion for designing led her to share that passion with the public. 

Zampatti produced her first small fashion line, “Zam Patti”, in 1965. By 1970, her namesake label was established. In 1972, her first boutique opened in Sydney’s Surry Hills.

Credit: carlazampatti.com.au

Sydney’s iconic Opera House is the backdrop of her first fashion shoot. It was under construction at the time.

Always timeless and on-trend, Zampatti embraced sustainability and ethical business practices. From royalty to award-winning actors, Zampatti spent over 50 years making women feel beautiful in her clothes.

Zampatti accepted the Australian Business Woman of the Year in 1980. By the end of the century, it became evident that the Carla Zampatti brand would remain one of the few Australian fashion houses to survive the recession.

The 90s and 00s

Throughout the 90s, Carla Zampatti embraced a stripped back elegance. This is an aesthetic which Zampatti has become known and celebrated for. The decade saw the label’s clean lines, solid colours and structured power dressing gain popularity. David Jones began stocking the Zampatti brand, followed by Myer (formally Grace Brothers) in 1992.

Credit: carlazampatti.com.au

In 2005, Carla joined five designers featured on postage stamps in the Australian Legends Series.

Additionally, Zampatti received the prestigious Australian Fashion Laureate in 2008. The award recognises that the “candidates body of work has global reach, aligns with ethical standards and links fashion to business”. Zampatti celebrated her 50th anniversary with a runway show at the Sydney Opera House in 2015. This was a full circle journey from her brand’s first photoshoot at the same location.

An Emotional Tribute

Zampatti’s daughter shared an emotional tribute to her mother on instagram.

Credit: Instagram @biancaspender

“Today I lost my mother, my inspiration, my mentor and my friend. I am lost for words and totally heartbroken.”

Loved by generations of women, Zampatti’s legacy will forever live on in the minds of her many adoring fans.

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