“An absolute champion of women, grace and elegance personified”: Tributes flow for Australian fashion legend Carla Zampatti following her tragic passing

The influential designer passed away on April 3.
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This weekend, the nation lost an icon, a legend, and an inspiration.

Australians across the country were left speechless on April 3 as heartbreaking news of Carla Zampatti’s unexpected passing was announced.

The renowned Australian designer had touched the lives of tens of thousands of women who had either admired or worn her incredible creations over the years.

The 78-year-old talent had been front and centre of the Australian fashion industry for decades, with her timeless gowns and chic ready-to-wear designs being the desire of people across the country.

Carla suffered a serious fall at the opening of opera La Traviata at Mrs Macquarie’s Point in Sydney a week prior to her passing, and was admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospital where she was placed under observation.

According to the Daily Telegraph, she remained in a coma until she passed away.

Carla Zampatti was an Australian fashion great, never to be forgotten.


In a devastating statement on Instagram, the official page of Carla Zampatti shared on Saturday: “It’s with great sadness that we announce the death of fashion icon Carla Zampatti AC today.”

The statement continued: “Carla is Australia’s most successful and enduring fashion designer, launching her eponymous label in 1965. Carla has long been celebrated for making Australian women feel confident and elegant through her exceptional design, tailoring and understanding of the modern woman.”

In the wake of the announcement, some of Australia’s most-loved celebrities, many of whom had the pleasure of knowing and wearing Carla’s designs on multiple occasions, took to the social media platform to share their heartbreak and love for the designer.

The post shared by Carla’s team itself was inundated with messages of heartbreak and tribute in the comments section.

Celebrity stylist Lana Wilkinson worte: “A true icon of our industry, what a heartbreaking loss. My deepest condolences.”

Anna Heinrich also added: “What a woman, what an inspiration.”

Model Erin Holland shared: “So incredibly saddened by this news. It’s been an honour to wear your iconic pieces across the years. A true superstar and innovator ahead of the times.”

And on their own pages, celebrity friends of Carla’s shared their tributes and memories. Lisa Wilkinson was one of many to post some of her favourite outfits by the designer, which she’d worn over the years.

“For all of my professional life I’ve been loving, buying and wearing Carla. To this day I still wear a gorgeous classic black dress of Carla’s I bought on lay-by when I was just 19.

“Her pieces were and are, always timeless.”

Lisa continued: “The woman herself was an absolute champion of women – as well as grace and elegance personified. It was always a privilege to be in her company.”

Deborah Hutton also shared a beautiful tribute for Carla, writing: “Still in shock… so sad to see the passing of such an iconic Australian fashion legend.”

“A trailblazer who set new standards of elegance and tailoring back in the late 70’s. Was working with her in my early modelling days around 1980 and have continued to reach out for a ‘Carla’ when the occasion needed something special…this here hosting #starlightchildrensfoundation Gala Dinner a few years back.”

Deb concluded: “She has left a lasting legacy for others to follow and will always stay in our hearts. Carla thank you for everything you’ve contributed, you will be missed.”

Deb shared an image of herself wearing a beautiful Carla Zampatti design.


Carla’s daughter and designer, Bianca Spender, shared an update about her mother’s passing – one that was no doubt reflected by her siblings Alex Schuman and Allegra Spender.

“Today I lost my mother, my inspiration, my mentor and my friend. I am lost for words and totally heartbroken,” Bianca wrote alongside two beautiful images of herself with her mother – one of them when she was a small child.

The post in itself is a raw and real reminder that as well as an inspiration and muse to thousands of women across Australia, Carla was first and foremost a devoted and loving mother, and the loss her children are feeling right now is greater than any.

First and foremost, our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.

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