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| BNE March/April 2015


hen Carla Zampatti’s first national collection was photographed

against the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House (


), still

under construction in 1967, it was an auspicious beginning.

The fledgling designer was ready to take on the country after launching

her first small collection just two years prior – and she made her mark. She

showed a flair for sophisticated styling that has endured for 50 years and, as

she celebrates a half century in fashion this year, she is still top of her game.

Her last spring/summer collection opened Australian Fashion Week and her

new autumn/winter collection was selected to be the finale to the prestigious

David Jones season launch, worn on the runway by the store’s star model

Jessica Gomes. Last month Princess Mary of Denmark was photographed

for her official palace portrait wearing a two-year-old Carla Zampatti gown.

While younger designers have come and gone (Lisa Ho and Collette

Dinnigan among them) the spotlight on Zampatti’s collections shows no

signs of dimming, nor has the designer lost any of the thrill of seeing her

clothes being worn, on and off the runway. “Seeing a woman at an event

feeling and looking incredible in one of my designs is still a rush for me.

Those are the moments that make the work worth it,” she says.

Neither is her success measured only in her collections, the celebrities who

wear her clothes or the number of stores she operates (now 34 boutiques and

concept stores nationally). Recognised for her business acumen Zampatti

sits on a number of boards, has been named a Businesswoman of the Year, is

a recipient of Queen’s Birthday honours (an AM and AC) and an honorary

doctorate from Monash University, acknowledged as a role model for

women as much as for her contribution to the fashion industry.

Earlier this year Zampatti told


magazine, “the key to surviving is

passion and ideas. I’ve always been popping with ideas – and I still am today.

I’m still interested in design. I still look forward to designing collections.

That passion has never left me. I’m as excited by it now as I was the day I


A coffee table book which chronicles Zampatti’s 50 years in fashion, titled

My Look, My Life

(HarperCollins), is scheduled for release in October.



See Carla Zampatti’s

A/W 2015 collecton at

years in