The grieving family of Carla Zampatti have accepted an offer from the NSW Premier to honour the legendary late design icon.
Legendary fashion designer Carla Zampatti will be honoured with a state funeral.
The announcement comes a day after the sad news of the iconic designer’s death.
Zampatti, 78, died after a week long hospitalisation following a fall down the stairs at the opening of opera La Traviata at Sydney’s Mrs Macquarie’s Point last Friday.
Australian designers, celebrities and politicians reacted with shock and sadness at the news of her death, calling Zampatti an “inspirational Australian” and a “true trailblazer”.
“The family of Australian fashion icon Carla Zampatti AC has accepted the New South Wales Government’s offer of a state funeral,” state Premier Gladys Berejiklian said in a statement today.
“Carla was talented, general and inspiring. A true trailblazer in every respect.
“On behalf of the people of NSW, I extend by deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Carla.”
Further details of the funeral will be provided in the coming days.
Carla Zampatti’s incredible career
It comes after Ms Berejiklian shared her own statement yesterday after Zampatti’s death.
“The world will never be the same without Carla Zampatti. Talented, generous and inspiring. A true trailblazer in every respect. Rest In Peace,” the Premier wrote.
Zampatti was born in Italy and moved to Australia with her family in 1950. Her trailblazing career in fashion lasted for close to six decades.
In 2015, Zampatti told Ita Buttrose on Channel 10’s Studio 10 of divorcing accountant Leo Schuman in 1970, after a marriage marred by numerous infidelities.
She said Schuman “made little attempt to hide his roving eye”. In her book, My Life, My Look, she alleged her former husband had been aggressive, and she feared domestic violence would occur.
“The most difficult part is that he was in my business so we had to overcome that,” Zampatti said.
“But the best way is just simply to walk away and restart it and life has been a dream since then.”
In 1965, before the launch of her business, not a single bank would offer her a loan, and Zampatti was left with no option but to borrow $5000 from her cousin Mick Caratti.
Caratti made Zampatti agree to one condition — that she never enter into a business partnership.
After getting her start, Zampatti opened her first retail boutique in the inner Sydney suburb of Surry Hills in 1973. By the 1980s, she was named the first Qantas/Bulletin magazine Business Woman of the Year.
During the 1990s she was awarded the Fashion Designer of the Year award by the Australian Fashion Industry. In 2009 she was awarded a companion of the Order of Australia.
Last year as Australia was ravaged by months of bushfires, Zampatti auctioned a custom designed dress to raise funds for community relief.
“Australians are wonderful, resilient people — we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start over again,” she told The Australian. “But it’s a challenge for people affected by the fires, losing homes and contents. All we can do is sympathise and try and help in any way we can.”
After her fall on Friday, a spokesman from her family thanked members of the audience at the opera, who had come to her aid.
“Carla is very grateful for the support from medically trained members of the audience who assisted and for the excellent care from the team at St Vincent’s Hospital,” the spokesman said.
Celebrities and politicians pay tribute to Zampatti
Prime Minister Scott Morrison released a statement paying tribute to Zampatti, calling her a “pioneer” and a “champion of multicultural Australia”.
“We have lost a truly great and inspirational Australian,” Mr Morrison said.
“Carla was an icon to the fashion industry, a pioneer as an entrepreneur and a champion of multicultural Australia. It was our great honour to have known her.
“She was a very kind, strong, elegant and sincere woman. She will be sadly missed by family, friends, and all who she inspired alike.
“Her contribution to our nation will be timeless, just like her designs. We extend our deepest sympathies to her family.”
The former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull also shared his condolences, writing, “Very sad to learn of our dear friend Carla Zampatti’s passing.
“One of our greatest Australians – brilliant, innovative, elegant, creative. Embodying the success of our remarkable multicultural nation. Our sympathy and love are with her family.”
The most devastating tribute came from Zampatti’s eldest daughter, designer Bianca Spender, who said in an Instagram post she was “heartbroken” by the death of her mother.
News.com.au’s style commentator Melissa Hoyer said the late designer will be remembered as an industry trailblazer whose clothes were loved by multiple generations.
“Carla blazed the trail for other designers and mentored many over the last 50 years,” Hoyer said.
“Carla may have dressed celebrities, politicians, royalty and TV faces, but her appeal went way beyond that, with every day Australian women aspiring to wear a piece of Carla at some stage in their life.”
Hoyer was last with Ms Zampatti last Friday evening, when the pair caught up, just before for the opening night of the opera on Sydney Harbour, La Traviata.
“We had a really happy catch up before the show and we were having a chat about QR codes and wondering when to the day would come where we didn’t have to check-in anymore,” said Hoyer.
“As usual, Carla looked immaculate, as usual, and as she was a huge supporter of the arts was looking forward to the opera.”