Australian fashion designer’s state funeral to be honoured at Sydney’s St Mary’s Cathedral

Arm-in-arm through tears, Alexander Schuman, Bianca Spender and Allegra Spender have spoken of their mother Carla Zampatti.

“CZ is what we all called the family business, we referred to it as our other sibling, sometimes the favourite child,” Mr Schuman said.

“But she was a demanding boss and a demanding mother and saw that as a good thing because she’d achieved more than she ever dreamed of, and she wanted the same for you.”

Bianca Spender, a fashion designer herself, said her mother was incredibly warm, affectionate and loved a hug.

“She had such a captivating presence. She drew you in with her soft voice to present a clear, concise point of view. Her favourite thing on the weekend was to swim and have her family around her.

“She offered you champagne and croissants at any time of day, with Nutella for the grandchildren, presenting everything on a perfect white cloth.”

She said the two eldest of nine grandchildren spent time living with Zampatti while others had stayed with her as recently as the Friday before her fall on March 27.

Carla Zampatti arriving at the premiere of La Traviata on March 27, 2021.

Carla Zampatti arriving at the premiere of La Traviata on March 27, 2021. Credit:Don Arnold

“She was alive to beauty in any form. Dance, visual arts, fashion, architecture. The creativity of others genuinely inspired and uplifted her,” Ms Spender said.

“If she were alive today … I’m sure she would say this is the best-dressed funeral she has ever attended.”

Allegra Spender, wearing a black outfit with statement ostrich feathers around the neckline, said seeing another woman succeed brought her mother joy.

“Thank you to so many of you for being today,” she said, noting they have recently heard stories of the way their mother “gave and meant so much to others” they had not known about before.

“We will miss her warm presence, her perspective, her sense of fun, her love and care of us and the joy she took from the world,” she said.

“We are very proud of you mum. We are committed to continuing your legacy of inspiring, empowering and supporting women.”

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