Award-winning fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee was born in Koster in South Africa’s North-West province in 1987. No one can deny that fashion seems to come naturally to Coetzee. Since his earliest days; he was making dresses as early as eight years’ old.
Coetzee says that becoming a fashion designer at such a young age was a team effort. He adds that his family recognized his talent and they all groomed a fashion designer together.
From 6 years old I was sewing, I was going to sewing classes.— Gert Johan Coetzee, award-winning fashion designer
At 16, Coetzee left high school to enrol in the Northwest School of Design in Klerksdorp, North-West. He spent most of his time and attention in the business of fashion.
Fast forward a decade and Coetzee is one of South Africa’s most popular and successful designers, beloved by celebrities, and passionate about spreading the gospel of glamour.
People see the glitz and glam, especially in fashion, but they don’t always realise how long it takes says Coetzee. He adds that there’s this misconception that you can just walk on the runway, and it will pay your bills.
The question I get asked the most is how much are your dresses and secondly, I want to be a model.— Gert Johan Coetzee, award-winning fashion designer
Coetzee runs a successful design business, creating opportunities for aspiring designers with an annual bursary; and also dedicates every collection to a social cause, using the power of his fashion platform to raise awareness for issues dear to his heart.
His celebrity clientele includes stars such as Kelly Rowland, Kourtney Kardashian, Miss Universe Roelene Strauss, Minnie Dlamini, Lira, Bonang Matheba, Terry Pheto, Pabi Moloi and many more.
Coetzee has won numerous awards, including SA’s Most Promising Young Designer in 2006 at the age of only 19. He has shown at international Fashion Weeks in Canada, Angola and Nigeria. Coetzee says that he has won numerous competitions on a junior level. He adds that his family saw his talent as something that needed to be groomed more.
[WATCH] Award-winning fashion designer Gert Johan Coetzee in studio talking about how fashion changed his life
Click on the link below to hear Coetzee's journey in discovering new talent...