Gen­eros­ity of spirit in Zam­patti award

The Australian - - LIFE -

There are few Aus­tralian de­sign­ers who can be re­ferred to as iconic, but Buzz reck­ons Carla Zam­patti fits the bill. Be­neath that eter­nally pol­ished and poised ex­te­rior is a knack for know­ing what women want; a busi­ness brain that has kept her ahead of the pack for more 50 years; and a sup­port­ive streak that has touched all facets of the arts. Yes­ter­day, that phi­lan­thropic sup­port came back to the fash­ion in­dus­try with the award­ing of the in­au­gu­ral Carla Zam­patti Foun­da­tion De­sign Award. And it’s not a to­ken cash prize, un­like so many oth­ers — it is worth $25,000 to a re­cent grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy Syd­ney, to help sup­port through a mas­ter’s pro­gram at an in­ter­na­tional fash­ion school, fol­lowed by an in­tern­ship op­por­tu­nity with Zam­patti and her team in Syd­ney.

Sarah Lim won the top prize — and she will be joined by her fel­low fi­nal­ists, Lily Xu and Jes­sica Guz­man, at New York’s Par­sons School of De­sign in Au­gust.

Straight af­ter the an­nounce­ment, Lim was “in shock” over her win. “Ab­so­lutely, be­cause every­one’s so tal­ented, it was any­one’s game,” she told Buzz. And she is in no doubt as to the sig­nif­i­cance of the award.

“Just to have the sup­port of the Carla Zam­patti brand, with such a long his­tory — to have that sup­port as you go and do your mas­ter’s, or when you come back, is very touch­ing. To know that she’s look­ing out for you, it’s fan­tas­tic.”

Zam­patti was full of praise for all three fi­nal­ists, cho­sen by UTS, who also had to present con­cepts for four pieces for Zam­patti’s brand as part of the process. “They all came with won­der­ful ideas,” Zam­patti says. “With some peo­ple you can just take one look at what they’re wear­ing and their work, and you think: wow, this per­son has just locked it in. (Lim is) a con­fi­dent, in­tel­li­gent girl who has strong (de­sign) hand­writ­ing. She’ll be a bril­liant de­signer.”

Speak­ing to Zam­patti ahead of the award, Buzz was keen to get her thoughts on whether there should be more gen­er­ous cash prizes for emerg­ing de­sign­ers, given her prize is sec­ond only to the In­ter­na­tional Wool­mark Prize in terms of its mone­tary value. In re­sponse, she sim­ply said: “I’d like to see other de­sign­ers sup­port other in­sti­tu­tions be­cause I think it’s re­ally im­por­tant to give back.” On­line shop­ping fans — that is, al­most every­one — should be poised to take ad­van­tage of Vogue On­line Shop­ping Night, which starts at mid­day to­day and runs un­til mid­night. A slew of brands is of­fer­ing spe­cial deals for the 12-hour pe­riod, in­clud­ing some ad­di­tional re­duc­tions on sale items. Key par­tic­i­pants in­clude cult denim brands Rolla’s and Neuw Denim, ac­tivewear spe­cial­ists P.E Na­tion and The Up­side, high street la­bels Coun­try Road, Witch­ery and Kookai, and fash­ion favourites Bassike, Camilla and Marc (pic­tured), Aje, Bec & Bridge and Camilla. Ac­ces­sories brands in­clude Oro­ton, Mimco, Ge­org Jensen and Di­nosaur De­signs. Men aren’t for­got­ten, with the likes of MJ Bale, The Academy Brand and TM Lewin also tak­ing part. In ad­di­tion there are beauty prod­ucts, home­wares and, well, you get the drift. Head to for more in­for­ma­tion. US her­itage jew­eller Tif­fany & Co has jumped on the per­son­al­i­sa­tion band­wagon with its new My Tif­fany pro­gram. Brides and grooms in any com­bi­na­tion can cus­tomise their rings from ex­ist­ing styles, met­als and stones, and have them in­scribed with a mes­sage of their choice. While di­a­monds don’t re­ally do it for Buzz, per­haps more ex­cit­ing is the fact those lit­tle blue boxes also can be cus­tomised, em­bossed with a choice of ini­tials, date or mini mes­sage. If her bud­get fi­nally per­mit­ted, Holly Go­lightly would be all over this.

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