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

Fashion icon Carla Zampatti launched the annual award, 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.”

The Carla Zampatti Foundation Design Award is awarded to honours student from the Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), which was recently ranked number one in Australia and number 13 in the world in the Global Fashion School Rankings*.

“The support of an icon like Carla Zampatti not only provides a greater opportunity for our most outstanding graduates to succeed in their studies, but through them it will also have long-lasting impact on the Australian fashion industry – as Carla Zampatti herself has done,” UTS Vice-Chancellor Attila Brungs says of the gift. “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.

Graduates from the UTS degree have been prominent in awards for emerging designers and they can be found in postgraduate programs at a range of international design schools.

The two other 2018 finalists, Jessica Guzman and Lily Xu have also been accepted into the Masters program at Parsons School of Design.

Source: Carla Zampatti