VALE CARLA ZAMPATTI (1942-2021)
Exemplifying Australia’s creativeness, Carla was an inclusive spirit that recognised young Australian talent wherever it existed. As a member of the Advance Awards judging panel since its inception, her contribution, warmth and wisdom will be sadly missed.
Carla Zampatti was the Executive Chairman of Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd. She was a board member of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, the European Australian Business Council, Sydney Dance Company, MCA Foundation and the UTS V-C’s Industry Advisory Board. In May 2014, Carla Zampatti was granted a Honorary Doctorate of Laws at the Faculty of Arts Monash University. Carla was also a former Chairman of the SBS Corporation, and a former director of several boards including Westfield Holdings and McDonalds Australia and former board member of Sydney Theatre Company Foundation.
Born in Italy, Carla settled with her family in Australia in 1950. In 1965, she produced her first small collection for Zampatti Pty Limited, followed two years later by a national launch and, in 1970, by the establishment of Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd. The Carla Zampatti label is now renowned for beautiful clothes that combine Australian creativity with Italian style.
Over the years, Carla Zampatti continually expanded her retail network to create a chain of 34 boutiques and concept stores across Australia. Today her clothes are a distinctive part of the modern Australian lifestyle.
Carla also redesigned a car. In a unique partnership with Ford Australia, she was asked to redesign a car especially for the women’s market. Her first Laser, produced in 1985, was followed two years later with a collection of Lasers and Meteors that are still remembered as examples of design innovation in the Australian industry.
An Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Western Sydney was awarded to Carla in 1999 for outstanding service to the University as a member of its Board of Governors.
Carla was recognised with a number of Australian and international awards for achievement and excellence, including ‘Bulletin/Qantas Businesswoman of the Year’, and in 1994 the fashion industry of Australia named her ‘Designer of the Year’. In 2004, the Italian government appointed Carla Commendatore (Commander) in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
In January 2005, Carla was honoured by Australia Post and named a ‘2005 Australia Post Australian Legend’. This award is announced annually in the lead-up to Australia Day and the recipients of this award are individually featured on a postage stamp. Carla later designed the new Australia Post corporate wear launched in October 2007.
In 2008 she was awarded the ‘Australian Fashion Laureate Award’, an initiative of the NSW Government and IMG Fashion, which is the highest honour in the Australian fashion industry.
Already a Member of the Order of Australia (AM), Carla was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2009. This honour recognised Carla’s contributions to fashion and business as well as being a role model for women.