Skip to main content

Collette Dinnigan

b. 1965

Collette Dinnigan AO (b. 1965), designer and company director, was born in South Africa and settled in Australia in 1985 after a period in New Zealand, where she studied fashion design at the Wellington Polytechnic. After working in the costume department of ABC TV she launched her own label in 1990, concentrating on lingerie. She soon moved into ready–to–wear, becoming the first Australian fashion designer to mount a full–scale parade in Paris in 1995. Her delicate, luxurious collections were stocked by more than eighty stores world–wide and hers is the only Australian fashion house to be recognised by the Chambre du Syndicale des Prêt-à-Porter Couturiers et des Créateurs de Mode. In 2006 she became the first Australian to feature in television and print advertising campaigns for American Express. She launched a diffusion line, Collette by Collette Dinnigan, to mark her twentieth year in business in 2010; and in 2012 and 2014 she produced a ballerina-inspired range for girls in collaboration with the Australian Ballet. Having spent 24 years in fashion, the mother-of-two announced the closure of her business in late 2013, but continues to work across the field of design. A retrospective exhibition Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced opened at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum in September 2016.

Updated 2017