Carla Maria Zampatti , (born 19 May 1942) is an Italian-Australian fashion designer and businesswoman.
Carla Zampatti is Executive Chairman of Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd. She is a board member of the Australian Multicultural Foundation, the European Australian Business Council, Sydney Dance Company, MCA Foundation and UTS V-C's Industry Advisory Board.
Born in Lovero, Italy, Zampatti 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 Limited.
Zampatti opened her first boutique in 1972 in Surry Hills, Sydney Australia. Over the next three years the Mosman, Double Bay and Elizabeth Street Sydney boutiques were opened, growing the Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd company to create a chain of 30 Carla Zampatti boutiques and concept stores across Australia. With the growth of the label, Zampatti moved into David Jones in 1990 and Myer stores in 1992. Australian singer of Italian descent, Tina Arena, is known to wear her pieces, as are other Australian icons Princess Mary of Denmark, Dannii Minogue, Delta Goodrem and Ita Buttrose.
In 1973 Zampatti became one of the first Australian designers to introduce swimwear into her collection. Expanding into other areas of fashion, she was commissioned to create the first designer eyewear of Polaroid's range.
In 1983, Zampatti launched her first perfume, 'Carla'. It was a success, and she released a second in 1987, 'Bellezza'.
In partnership with Ford Australia, Zampatti 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.
Zampatti has been recognised with a number of Australian and international awards for achievement and excellence. She is a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), was a 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 Zampatti Commendatore (Commander) in the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
In January 2005, Zampatti 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 its recipients are individually featured on a postage stamp. Zampatti later designed the new Australia Post corporate wear, launched in October 2007.
The Australian Fashion Laureate was given to Zampatti in August 2008. This award is polled by members of the industry, an initiative of the New South Wales Government and IMG Fashion. It recognises outstanding achievement and is the highest honour in the Australian fashion industry.
Zampatti has also held a number of directorships, including Chairman of the SBS Corporation, a director of the Westfield Group and a Trustee of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Zampatti now divides her time between her business commitments here and overseas, her public engagements and her other directorships.
Zampatti has been married twice: her first husband was Leo Schuman, whom she married in 1964 and divorced in 1970. Her second husband was politician John Spender from 1975 until they separated in 2008 and divorced in 2010.
She has three children: Alex Schuman, Allegra Spender (Managing Director, Carla Zampatti), and Bianca Spender (designer).Zampatti was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 1987 Australia Day honours, for service to the fashion industry as a designer and manufacturer. She was raised to Companion level in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 2009.
She received the Centenary Medal in 2001 for service to Australian society in business leadership.
The Government of Italy made her a Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.
In 2005, she was honoured on a commemorative Australian postage stamp, along with other Australian fashion designers, Prue Acton, Jenny Bannister, Collette Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa and Joe Saba.
The Australian Fashion Laureate was awarded to Carla in August 2008.