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David Jones

Q&A with Carla Zampatti

In 1965, Carla Zampatti launched a small collection that showcased Australian creativity and Italian style. Today her brand has become synonymous with elegant and stylish fashion, appealing to strong, independent women everywhere.

To celebrate her 50th anniversary, Carla Zampatti has collaborated with Romance was Born designers Luke Sales and Anna Plunkett on a special photo shoot for Harpers Bazaar's April edition. Shot by renowned fashion photographer Georges Antoni and featuring Carla styled in unique Romance was Born style, get a sneak peek of the shoot for a limited time at the David Jones Elizabeth Street store windows.

Here the award-winning designer shares advice on style, fashion and life.

What’s one piece of advice would you give your younger self?
This was advice that I was given early on that was very sound – “do not borrow too much money and avoid business partnerships”

Tell us about the woman you design for.
When designing, I consider the changing lifestyles of my customers and create collections that they will find new and exciting but with the Carla Zampatti style and understatement that makes them feel beautiful and confident.

What’s been the highlight of your career?
Most recently, Princess Mary of Denmark chose to again wear one of my gowns that I made for The Australian Women’s Weekly shoot in 2013,  for the Royal Palace 2015 official photo. This was such a great compliment. 

How did you juggle your career and your family? 
I always wanted a career in fashion and started my business before I had children. When they came along I knew that I needed help because with a small business, you cannot take time out. I also knew that I would not be spending as much time with my children as I would have liked, but I learned quickly that quality time is more important than quantity and I have had wonderful feedback from my now adult children that my example in following my dream was a good role model for them. 

What’s your secret to stylish dressing? 
Style is a personal thing. It could be minimalist, colour based, eclectic, ethnic to name a few styles.  Experimenting with fashion is a wonderful thing until you find a style that suits your personality and lifestyle. I believe that  Carla Zampatti designs can be interpreted in many ways to  best suit each woman’s style.

What’s next for the brand Carla Zampatti? 
I enjoy the challenge of each collection. Looking at new fabrics creating new shapes and how to make them comfortable and  to work beautiful with each other as well as being individually beautiful. Thinking about my clients' lifestyle and seeing how I can manage to create a wardrobe to make her life simpler and allow her to continue with the success she is achieving but giving her the opportunity to find a new self in each of my new collections.