Counting innumerable influential local and international women such as former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, Miss Universe 2018, Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters and talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, among his clients, Gert Johan Coetzee is unquestionably one of SA’s most loved and admired fashion designers. Coetzee has won numerous awards, including Most Promising SA Young Designer in 2006 at the age of nineteen and SA Designer of the Year in 2010.
He’s shown at international Fashion Weeks in Canada, Angola and Nigeria and has a growing following in Africa. Working with his business partner and GJC brand manager husband Vicky Visagie, the burgeoning design business currently employs twenty people at his Johannesburg atelier.
Coetzee is known for his social activism and use of bi-annual collections shows at SA Fashion Week to highlight social issues. These have included breaking down prejudices about albinism, in partnership with lawyer turned international model Thando Hopa, championing education and literacy, addressing violence against women, breast-cancer awareness as well as raising awareness about SA’s water crisis, endangered wildlife and eco-consciousness in fashion.
A natural mentor with a passion for sharing opportunities and knowledge, Coetzee has a well-established bursary programme that sponsors two new students annually with three-year bursaries in fashion studies at his alma mater, Northwest School of Design.
He has been a brand ambassador for premium brands including Volvo, Dermalogica and Swarovski, and has partnered with iconic brands such as Ferrari and McDonald’s. He has the largest social media following of any SA designer across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and is a popular judge and commentator on fashion, style and pop culture on a variety of platforms.
In addition to his couture and bespoke bridal range, Coetzee creates an edgy casualwear line called GERT for sale in limited numbers in boutiques and on his online store www.shopgert.com, as well as an exclusive luxury ready-to-wear range available at selected luxury boutiques. His menswear range of bespoke suits, swimwear and underwear adds to the portfolio.
Gert-Johan Coetzee AW20 Runway
Eunice Driver Photography | Official SAFW Collections Photographer