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 Limited, a label that was to become a by-word for beautiful clothes, which combine Australian creativity with Italian style.
Over the years, she has continually expanded her retail network to create a chain of 29 Carla Zampatti boutiques and concept stores across Australia. Today her clothes are a distinctive part of the modern Australian lifestyle.
Carla has 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 has been 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 â€˜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.
The Australian Fashion Laureate was awarded to Carla in August 2008. An award polled by members of the industry, an initiative of the New South Wales Government and IMG Fashion. This award recognizes outstanding achievement and is the highest award honoured in the Australian Fashion Industry.
Already being 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 recognises Carla’s contributions to fashion and business, as well as being a role model for women.
Carla Zampatti now divides her time between her business commitments here and overseas, her public engagements and other Directorships.