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Tributes after the death of fashion icons at 78




Italian-born Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti has died aged 78.

Italian-born Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti has died aged 78.Credit:Getty

Carla was a fashion industry icon, a pioneer as an entrepreneur and a champion of multicultural Australia. It was our great honor to have known her.

Mr Morrisons ‘wife, Jenny, has been an avid follower of Ms Zampattis’ designs, sporting a black sequined evening number for her meeting with United States First Lady Melania Trump in 2019.

Mr Morrison said Ms Zampatti will be remembered as a very kind, strong, elegant and sincere woman.

His contribution to our nation will be timeless, as will his creations, he said.

Ms. Zampatti chaired the Board of Directors of SBS for a decade starting in 1999.

A spokesperson said the broadcaster was deeply saddened to learn of his death, after leading the organization through a decade of big changes in the media industry.

Having emigrated as a young child, Ms Zampatti truly believed in SBS and its purpose, the spokesperson said.

Carla will be remembered as an extraordinary leader and legend in Australian business.

Ms. Zampatti has become the confidante of current ABC President Ita Buttrose.

Sometimes we used to discuss the common challenges of presidents to deal with national broadcasters, Ms Buttrose told the ABC.

Ms. Buttrose attributed Ms. Zampattis’ appeal to her timeless feminine designs.

Her style was distinctive, Ms. Buttrose said. You could meet women anywhere and you say oh you look fantastic and they say yes this is Carla.

Ms Buttrose said Ms Zampatti single-handedly put Australian fashion on the international map.

Before the ’70s, we were looking for designs overseas – there really wasn’t an Australian fashion brand that stood out in the crowd, she recalls.


Shell is a very difficult act to follow.

Ms Zampattis’ peers in the Australian fashion industry were grieved on Saturday. Caftan queen Camilla Franks told the Herald she was heartbroken over the loss of my muse and my dear friend.

Carla was our matriarch, she said.

An inspiration, an Australian fashion icon and pioneering power whose unique grace, wisdom and elegance will forever be etched in the heart of an industry that will feel its loss so deeply.

Melbourne Fashion Festival chief executive Graeme Lewsey said every member of Australia’s fashion industry has been a pupil of Ms Zampattis’ magic touch.

The bright light of Carlas’ creative wisdom may have softened today, he said.

Her chic, creative, generous and graceful impact is a truly inspiring legacy.

Singer Dami Im recalled how she bonded with Mz Zampatti over their shared experience of forging a career in Australia after arriving as migrants as children.

I will never forget our discussions, when she asked me about my experience as an Australian Korean and shared her own stories of coming to Australia as a young girl, she wrote on Instagram.

You will forever be an icon, a source of inspiration for women and for people from all walks of life.

Ms. Zampatti has served on the Board of Directors of the Australian Multicultural Foundation for over 12 years.

Carlas’ advocacy, engagement and encouragement with young people from all cultural backgrounds to achieve their goals in life was truly inspiring, said Dr Hass Dellal, executive director of the foundation.

David Jones chief executive Scott Fyfe said Ms Zampatti appeared to have an innate understanding of the modern Australian woman.

She knew how to make women feel fabulous, empowering them through her timeless collections, he said.

Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian described Ms. Zampatti as a true pioneer in all respects.

The world will never be the same without Carla Zampatti, she said on Twitter.

NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay said she treasured her Carla pieces and had kept them all since her late twenties.

You never give a Carla, she tweeted.

Former Foreign Minister Julie Bishop – once pictured in a breathtaking Zampatti ball gown – was a personal friend of Ms Zampatti.

Julie Bishop has long championed Australian fashion.  Carla Zampatti Royal Engagement Ball Gown, $ 1199;  earrings, the bishops own.

Julie Bishop has long championed Australian fashion. Carla Zampatti Royal Engagement Ball Gown, $ 1199; earrings, the bishops own.
Credit:Stef king

Carla Zampatti was a very tall Australian who inspired generations of women with her style, grace and determination, she wrote on Instagram on Saturday. She was in a class of her own – #spackage personified.

Sprezzatura is an Italian term which means to perform impressively but with grace and ease rather than apparent effort.

Melbourne-based fashion designer Toni Maticevski remembered Ms Zampatti as someone who championed talent and made me believe what I did mattered.

Carla has always been larger than life, he told the Herald.

Even though I dominated her delicate figure, she was truly stone and strength. She always had my back.

We laughed the whole time and every moment was a delight. I will miss her dearly and cherish our friendship. She survived and prospered in this industry. Carla loves forever.

Former Matildas captain Melissa Barbieri described Ms Zampatti as a humble genius on Twitter.

She was a friend of the Matildas before we were famous, Ms Barbieri wrote. She made us look and feel glamorous.

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