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Carla Zampatti Backs Young Aussie Designers With $25,000 Award

Fashion icon Carla Zampatti launched the annual award this week, saying she wanted to support further, international study by an outstanding graduate from Australia’s leading fashion degree, with the long-term goal of enhancing the Australian fashion industry.

The gift is believed to be one of the largest annual awards for a graduating Australian fashion student.

Lim will use the award money to support further study in the Fashion Design and Society graduate program at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York.

Zampatti says she hopes the award “will not only inspire and equip talented students for success but will also enrich the Australian fashion industry”.

“I’m so grateful to Carla Zampatti for both the award and the valuable feedback she has given me throughout the selection process,” Lim said today.

Lim – who describes her design aesthetic as focused on soft tailoring, mixed drapery and knitwear – hopes her time at Parsons will help broaden her experience and understanding of the global fashion industry, and further refine her design “handwriting”.  

As the winner of the award, Lim will also have the opportunity to intern in the Carla Zampatti studio ahead of her overseas study, and to return to the fashion house to complete a capsule collection.

Italian-born Zampatti knows the difference an early mentor and a global perspective made in her own career.

“A relative, early in my career, took me aside and gave me the advice to venture solo into business,” she says. “They also lent me the funds to pursue my dream.

“There have been others who supported my passion to create a fashion brand and given sage advice at pivotal times,” she says. “I’ve always believed in ‘paying it forward’ and nurturing and encouraging new talent. That’s why, in partnership with UTS, I’ve established the Carla Zampatti Foundation Design Award, to support a student who possesses both creative talent and a passion for commercial longevity.”

UTS Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs believes that this award will provide a greater opportunity for the most outstanding graduates to succeed in their studies, and also have long-lasting impact on the Australian fashion industry – as Carla Zampatti herself has done.

UTS Fashion and Textiles graduate Sarah Lim has been named the winner of the inaugural $25,000 Carla Zampatti Foundation Design Award.
Carla Zampatti, Sarah Lim and Atilla Brungs.

“These young designers will return to Australia with the potential to one day be the leaders of the industry and the fashion innovators of the future.”

The Head of the UTS Design School, Professor Kate Sweetapple, says the sort of experience the award will support “sows the seeds for fashion innovation and business success” for graduates.

“The award provides a platform that, ultimately, could lead to a role with a senior label or the creation of their own label,” she says.

The three finalists: Lily Zhu, Jessica Guzman and Sarah Lim.
The three finalists: Lily Zhu, Jessica Guzman and Sarah Lim.

Written by Victoria Webster

Victoria Webster is The Carousel's resident health expert. She has been surrounded by health and fitness her entire life. Her mother, a nutritionist, personal trainer and Pilates teacher instilled in Victoria a passion for all things wellbeing related.

Growing up a ballet dancer and singer having performed in the States, her passion for performance and movement transferred to yoga, running and the gym whilst remaining focused on her academics and career. She is an avid traveller and has lived all over the world enabling her to speak French, Italian and Spanish.

She began her journalism career by studying Media and Communications at The University of Sydney. She has written for The Medical Observer and Australian Doctor.

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