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Dame Denise
L'Estrange-Corbet DNZM

World-renowned fashion designer


Dame Denise L'Estrange-Corbet is the sharp shooting co-founder of WORLD, who along with Francis Hooper and $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 from fashion to politics and everything in between.

Established in Auckland in 1989, WORLD has shown at Official Fashion Weeks from London to Australia.
Their journey is one of vision, defiance, breaking boundaries, glass ceilings, unimaginable stories, and all amongst great hilarity.

Denise was the first female Fashion Designer to be recognised by Queen Elizabeth II and was awarded with being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (formerly an MBE) in 2002. In 2018 she was appointed Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her service to fashion and the community.
In 2017 Denise was awarded the Westpac Women of Influence Award for Arts & Culture.
In 2011 Denise was voted the second Most Trusted Women 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 is a published author, and her autobiography, entitled "All that Glitters..." went straight to number two on the Bestsellers List of 2008.

Denise is Patron of IHC New Zealand, she is also the Ambassador for the IHC Art Awards, which encourages people with disabilities from around New Zealand to use art to express themselves.
She is Ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation and appeared on their groundbreaking campaign and documentary 'Like Minds, Like Mine' in 1997.
She supports Diabetes Auckland as their Ambassador, and also supports a raft of other charities.

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.

Dame Denise has a vast amount of experience and highly regarded having spoken at APEC, alongside the legendary journalist John Pilger at the Peace Awards, and met with the Dalai Lama. She also sat on Helen Clark's Business Forum.

Known for her straightforwardness and never one to shy away from her opinions, she is sought out by both print media, television and radio.

She knows not only how to run a business, but how to continue to do so during disruptions and challenges that are thrown at businesses, including various Governments.

She can advise on how to keep your business relevant when everything is moving so fast. How do we compete with online businesses? Are bricks and mortar stores still a reality in the world of online? How to change with what is happening and adapt for the future, she has been in it all and seen it all!

An excellent storyteller, Denise will have your audience in stitches with her witty humour and leave everyone feeling inspired!

Talking Points


- Running a business in an ever changing climate
- Customer service
- How to think outside the square
- How to be innovative
- Running a creative business


- Making creativity into a business
- Working out your niche


- How I did it
- Taking risks
- Standing up for what you believe is right
Denise was well received by the audience. They enjoyed her down to earth 'real' attitude and approach. She gave them a new and fresh appreciation for women in business. Pharmacy Wholesalers Russells

Denise touched on a wide variety of topics - all entertaining and humorous. They all loved her and could relate to her. She was wonderful!

Westfield Downtown

Denise's presentation was excellent and the audience thoroughly enjoyed it.

Kristin School

Denise was extremely well suited to our event. The speech was pitched at the right level and was very entertaining.

Pharmacy Brands Ltd

Denise's presentation was excellent - motivational, funny and stylish.


WOW what can I say… she was absolutely fantastic. The ladies were thrilled and can talk about nothing else today - the school is a buzz with laughter and joy after last night. The overall feedback from everyone was how ‘real’ Denise was - I don’t think there was anyone in the audience that was not ‘in stitches’ during most of her presentation. We LOVED having her. She was perfect for the crowd and what an absolutely delightful ‘down to earth’ lady Denise is. She left 250 women very happy and they were inspired by her message of how so many things about us (women) are OK!

St Peter's College

Denise was just wonderful! Very easy to deal with and our teachers absolutely loved her honesty and humour. Denise’s life story was a perfect fit for the theme of our conference - 'Resilience'. Denise is a true inspiration.

Hutt City Kindergarten

Denise was an outstanding speaker - a true professional in every sense of the word. We were very much looking forward to her closing our conference and she did not disappoint. Her talk was witty, from the heart and packed a punch and she had 165 women totally enthralled and hanging off her every word.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce Regional Business Women's Conference

Denise was very entertaining and the feedback from our clients was that she came across as very honest and personable.

Citi International Woman's Day Dinner

Denise was a very engaging speaker and read the audience well. Denise’s presentation was specific and relevant to the theme and audience and it sounded like she had spent a lot of time preparing the presentation, which was reflected in her high quality presentation on the day.

Queenstown Chamber of Commerce

We were very, very happy with what Denise delivered. She was inspiring and a great storyteller.

CoreNet Global

Denise was very honest, down to earth, entertaining and personable. She connected well with our delegates and brought with her a little bit of naughty and a whole lot of lovely. Her personality came across to all as generous and I suspect she would be fantastic not only as an opening presenter but a fantastic entertaining evening speaker. Lots of laughter and relatable story telling made for a wonderful start to our Administrators Conference.

First National

Thank you especially for your fabulous and refreshing keynote address. Your humour and honesty was greatly appreciated and admired and was a wonderful way to end our day. Your now much quoted line “change will come en masse - united we stand, divided we fall” is a beauty. Now, more than ever, we need to draw on our progressive achievements and look forward. We need to connect the wisdom, knowledge and experience of our current members with a new generation of change makers. We need to mentor and believe in their ability to carry the baton forward - and to create a more equal world. Your contribution at our conference is a part of driving that cultural change and we look forward to continuing on the journey to a gender equal New Zealand in your company.

National Council of Women New Zealand

The team loved Denise, they loved her personal life story and her business story

Douglas Pharmaceuticals

We really enjoyed Denise - would certainly look at crafting an event around her again

Grow Ltd

Denise was a fantastic speaker. She was light hearted and funny and our clients responded to her very well. She was indeed illuminating which was the main idea around our speaking event. We are very grateful to have received this recommendation.

Cavell Leitch

Denise was fantastic, such a great speaker and she really made us laugh. Positive feedback from everyone that attended.

Chartered Accountants Australia + New Zealand
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