Carla Zampatti in her city store,1992. Photo / Getty Images

Legendary Australian Fashion Designer Carla Zampatti Dies Aged 78

Leaving behind a legacy of sophistication and elegance, the designer was the blueprint for slick Sydney glamour

Legendary Australian fashion designer Carla Zampatti has died at the age of 78, after a week-long hospitalisation after a fall at the opera last weekend.

Zampatti was placed "under observation" at Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital after falling down stairs at the opening of La Traviata at Mrs Macquarie's Point last Friday Night.

It's understood she was in a coma and never woke up, The Daily Telegraph reports.

She was rendered unconscious from the fall and was assisted by a first aid professional, before ambulance officers treated her at the scene and she was transported to hospital.

"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," a family spokesman said earlier this week.

The industry pioneer, born in Italy and who settled in Australia with her family in 1950, had a career spanning nearly six decades, with big-name celebrities at home and abroad dedicated fans of her eponymous label.

"Carla Zampatti is Australia's most successful and enduring fashion designer, launching her eponymous label in 1965," a statement, released after her death this morning, read.

"Executive chairman of Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd, Carla has long been celebrated for making Australian women feel confident and elegant through her exceptional design, tailoring and understanding of the modern world.

"Born in Italy, Carla settled with her family in Western Australia in 1950. After moving to Sydney in her 20s, she produced her first small fashion collection in 1965. Two years later she launched her collection nationally and in 1970 established Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd.

READ: Fashion Icon Carla Zampatti's Retro-Inspired Sunglasses

"A champion of Australian women and a multicultural success story, she continued to thrive as a businesswoman through enormous radical and social change, designing clothes for women fighting for liberation through the women's rights movement in the 1960s to empowering women today in leadership, the workplace, in their home and at major life events.

"She went on to expand her retail network to create a chain of boutiques across Australia and New Zealand and her clothes are truly considered a distinctive part of modern Australian lifestyle.

Carla Zampatti attends the Melbourne Fashion Festival, 2020. Photo / Getty Images

Her designs have been worn by Australia's most influential women from Prime Ministers and Premiers to business leaders, dignitaries, award-winning journalists, royalty and celebrities. They include Princess Mary of Denmark, Dame Quentin Bryce, Julia Gillard, Gladys Berejiklian, Julie Bishop, Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett.

"Carla Zampatti is the mother of three children Alexander Schuman, Bianca Spender and Allegra Spender from her marriages with Leo Schuman and former Australian lawyer, politician and diplomat, John Spender. She is also the proud Nonna of nine grandchildren.

"Her family is very grateful for the support and for the excellent care from the team at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney.

"A condolence page has been established at Carla Zampatti AC|Farewelling memorial. The family ask for privacy at this time."

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