Generosity of spirit in Zampatti award
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 vogue.com.au 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.