Iconic Australian Designer Carla Zampatti On The Best Piece Of Business Advice She’s Ever Received

Ahead of the biggest show of her career, Zampatti tells all

Carla Zampatti is a woman who needs no introduction. With a career in fashion spanning over five decades, Zampatti continues to grow her customer base, both in Australia and overseas, year upon year and is now prepping to present her biggest runway collection yet as Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s 2019 Grand Showcase Designer

On Wednesday 6th March, presented by marie claire, the night will be a highlight of the 10-day fashion and beauty festival, featuring not only a solo runway show by Carla Zampatti, but also a special musical performance by Australian singer, Dami Im

Below, marie claire editor, Nicky Briger, talks to Zampatti about her 50 years in the business, her biggest inspiration and the piece of advice she still lives by today. 

What’s been the proudest moment in your life so far? 

Apart from my children, I am most proud of sustaining a fashion brand for over 50 years. 

What’s the most unique thing about your brand or business?

Longevity  – I always wanted to be in fashion and I knew that if I succeeded, then I would want to be there for a long time.  I was always committed to the brand from the first day and always had a long term plan. Additionally, I appreciate the dedication of my wonderful loyal staff and customers from 50 years ago who are still buying my designs, as are their daughters and their granddaughters 

What has been the best piece of advice that you still live by today?

“Do not take on a business partner – you can do this yourself”. This would not be the right advice for everyone thought it was perfect for my business. 

How would others describe you in three words?

Impatient – I can not think of another word.


What do you think is the biggest priority for the fashion industry moving forward?

Understanding the market and the mood of your customers and be flexible enough to be able to adapt to an ever-changing social and economic environment.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Textile excites me and today’s new technology is creating some of the most fascinating textiles. Also, my busy social and business life compels me to consider what is missing in my collection. 

What do you love about Melbourne?

In particular the NGV, they have created a gallery that is as good as any in the world. The architecture is wonderful and I commend Melbourne for preserving this. Also, Melbourne’s ability to creating wonderful global events – the Australian Open, the Grand Prix and VAMFF are a few events I admire. 

What is your ideal environment or setting to be inspired and to create?

At home – it is peaceful, sun filled, beautiful and I can spend time with the textiles, which is always where the collection starts.

What gets you truly excited about life?

Australia – it is the most remarkable country. It is wonderful how it gives anyone who wants it, the opportunity to succeed. I believe we live in the last paradise.

Tell us one thing that people should know about you

I am quite shy. I have learnt to overcome it in public life. 

Purchase tickets to the 2019 Virgin Australia Grand Showcase, featuring a runway show by Carla Zampatti here

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