Fashion designer Carla Zampatti has died

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Australian fashion designer and businesswoman Carla Maria Zampatti died a week after falling down the stairs at the opera house in Sydney. She was 78 years old. The news was reported by Reuters on Saturday, April 3, citing a statement from her family.

Zampatti fell during an outdoor opera performance. The woman was hospitalized immediately afterward.

“She continued to thrive as a businesswoman through a huge radical and social change, creating clothing for women fighting for liberation within the women’s rights movement in the 1960s to empower women today,” a statement from the fashion designer’s family cited.

Famous clients who have worn Zampatti’s outfits have included Hollywood actresses Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett, as well as former Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Australian cabinet chief Scott Morrison said the community had lost “a truly great and inspiring Australian.” Zampatti was a multicultural advocate, he said, as well as a fashion industry icon and entrepreneurial pioneer.

Zampatti was born in Italy in 1942. Eight years later her family emigrated to Australia. She launched her first small fashion collection in 1965 and five years later founded Carla Zampatti Pty Ltd.

In the early 1970’s she was one of the first designers to present swimwear in their collections in Australia, where conservative views prevailed at the time.

The entrepreneur opened dozens of boutiques across the country and also held several directorships and served as chairman of the Australian state broadcaster, The Special Broadcasting Service.