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 on the official fashion catwalks of London, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Sydney and New Zealand. In 2015, 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 the Global Goals, which is a 15 year project covering the major issues facing the next generation.
Denise was the first female Fashion Designer to be recognised by Queen Elizabeth II and 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 2017 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 an Ambassador for the Diabetes Foundation Auckland and 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.
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.
Denise was invited to speak at APEC, 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.
An excellent storyteller, Denise will have your audience in stitches with her witty humour and leave everyone feeling inspired!
Denise L'Estrange Corbet
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. ... keep reading 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!
Denise's presentation was excellent and the audience thoroughly enjoyed it.
Denise was extremely well suited to our event. The speech was pitched at the right level and was very entertaining.
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!
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.
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.
Denise was very entertaining and the feedback from our clients was that she came across as very honest and personable.
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.
We were very, very happy with what Denise delivered. She was inspiring and a great storyteller.
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.
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.
The team loved Denise, they loved her personal life story and her business story
We really enjoyed Denise - would certainly look at crafting an event around her again
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.
Denise was fantastic, such a great speaker and she really made us laugh. Positive feedback from everyone that attended.