One of the most recognisable names in Australian fashion, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of the iconic Carla Zampatti. With her distinct, signature style, boutiques spread across the country and now with the launch of her second eyewear collaboration with Specsavers, there’s no slowing down for this talented business woman. We were lucky enough to chat with the designer on her latest collection with the eyewear brand, along with the secrets to a successful career in the fashion industry.
What’s your first fashion memory?
Going with my mother to her seamstress when I was six years old – I was entranced by fashion at that moment.
You’ve enjoyed many successes throughout your career –
describe the moment you realised you’d made it.
When I was awarded the first Bulletin Businessperson of the Year Award. I was in a stellar line up of incredible achievers; to be selected as the winner made all the hard work worthwhile
You’ve been designing for over 50 years, what’s the secret of your longevity?
Listening to the customer, they are the lifeblood of any good business
Your signature colour palette is black and white, is this an extension of your
Every collection starts with these two colours. I find it makes life simpler when dressing for work or a social occasion and a breeze when travelling. Then you can add a pop of colour or a print or stripes.
You’ve just released your second eyewear collection with Specsavers. You’ve designed eyewear before – what makes this collection unique and why did you decide to partner with Specsavers?
What first attracted me to Specsavers was the quality of the staff in their store. I recently told a story where I went to a Specsavers store as I thought I needed glasses – they explained I had good eye sight but that I needed eye drops as I have dry eyes. I also love that Specsavers were excited from the beginning to develop the sunglasses aspect of my collections. I always wear sunglasses day and night to shield my sensitive eyes from the sun or bright lights.
Adelaide Fashion Festival recently wrapped up here in Adelaide, what’s your number one piece of advice to emerging designers?
Fashion is an ever changing industry and any designer requires many ideas that can continue to evolve over time.