Carla Zampatti believed that if you felt good in your clothes you could conquer the world. With the clothes she designed, Carla empowered women. It was all about making them feel confident.
She wanted women to feel great about themselves so they could go out into the world and achieve what they wanted. And the breadth of her clientele tells you she succeeded.
Carla Zampatti empowered women.
She dressed royals, she dressed politicians, she dressed celebrities and she dressed the ordinary woman. And she took great pleasure in the fact that women of all body types and all ages wore her designs.
She was the master of effortless, glamorous Australian style. Her signature was the jumpsuit, which she said was the cornerstone that could be dressed up and down. Carla’s personal style was always chic, elegant, classic with a twist, taking you from the boardroom to dinner.
But Carla was about so much more than her clothes, she was a trailblazer , businesswoman and she empowered other women to follow her path.
She was always there to support women. I worked in a very male-dominated company and she would say to me, “Front up Jackie, step up.”
She was inspirational as a working mother of three children, of whom she was very proud. I pass on my condolences to Bianca, Alex and Allegra.
When I had my children and I was trying to juggle, she said to me, “Jackie, don’t try to do it all” at a time when many of us thought that’s what we needed to do. She told me that, above all, children need mothers who are happy, that there’s no shame in getting help in order to follow a passion and be a role model.
She encouraged independence, which was a trailblazing attitude. As a single mother working in the very male fashion industry, she worked her way right to the top and stayed there for over five decades.
Carla always grabbed life with two hands. She lived life to the full, she was always the last to leave the party. Something that surprised me was she also loved fast cars.
Her energy and curiosity made her ageless and kept her abreast of the zeitgeist. She always surrounded herself with young people, imparting her knowledge to them but also learning from them.
Carla was an Australian icon. There will never be another Carla Zampatti.
Jackie Frank was the founding editor of Marie Claire Australia, which she edited for 20 years.
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