After Dinner Speaker - Denise L'Estrange-Corbet
Dame Denise L'Estrange-Corbet is the sharp-shooting co-founder of WORLD, who along with Francis Hooper and with $400 between them, launched what is known today as New Zealand's most progressive and philanthropic fashion brand.
Denise is outspoken, and often sought for her opinion on fashion, politics and everything in between.
Denise has spoken with the legendary journalist John Pilger at the Peace Awards, and met with the Dalai Lama. She also sat on Helen Clark's Business Forum.
She was the first female Fashion Designer to be recognised by Queen Elizabeth II and awarded with a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (formerly an MBE) in 2002.
In early 2018 she was appointed Dames Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her service to fashion and the community.
Denise is a published author, and her autobiography, entitled "All that Glitters..." went straight to number two on the Bestsellers List of 2008.
WORLD has shown on the Official fashion catwalks of London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand.
Denise is an Ambassador for the Diabetes Foundation Auckland, and was recently made an Ambassador for the IHC Art Awards, having judged the awards for seven years.
Since 2013 WORLD has employed an IHC artist in their inner city workroom. Denise feels people with learning difficulties and disabilities need to be shown kindness, respect, integration and acceptance in all types of workplaces.
Denise has worked closely with the Mental Health Foundation since 1998, The Starship Foundation and The Leukaemia and Blood Cancer Foundation, amongst a host of others.
In 2011, Denise was voted the second Most Trusted Woman in New Zealand in the Reader's Digest Poll and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Universal College of Learning (UCOL) - for her outstanding and distinguished contribution to society in general.
Denise features regularly on talkback show 'The Panel' with Jim Mora and TV shows regarding current affairs.
2015 saw Denise play the lead in the play "Sitting Pretty", in which she played Nancy, a plump 55-year-old, who was unemployed and depressed, but went on to become a nude model for art classes. The play won Production of the Year. "I really love all aspects of the Arts - I design, write and act, but be assured I will not be releasing a single anytime soon," Denise laughs.
2015 also saw WORLD become the first fashion brand globally to be endorsed by the United Nations for their international T-shirt design that was launched in New York for Global Goals, which is a 15 year project covering the major issues facing the next generation.
In 2017 Denise was awarded the Westpac 2017 Women of Influence Award for Arts & Culture.
WORLD firmly believes in supporting their supporters, and the New Zealand fashion industry in general, and continues to manufacture its clothing in New Zealand, of which it is very proud.