Gert-Johan Coetzee was invited to collaborate with the one and only Barbie, and he designed a beautiful “one-of-a-kind” haute couture gown.
South Africa (11 November 2021) – South African designer Gert-Johan Coetzee has a talent for beadwork like no other. Browsing his creations, we can imagine how many hours he puts into each piece. His pieces have been seen on stars, including female rap icon Cardi-B and South Africa’s Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi. Now his works will be featured on one of the most iconic women in history, Barbie!
Barbie announced a collaboration with celebrated South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee which includes a South African-inspired collection and couture dress made specifically to fit the number one fashion doll in the world.
The Barbie Loves Gert collection, comprised of 31 looks, celebrates the uniqueness of South Africans. This is the first time the international fashion icon Barbie is working with Gert-Johan Coetzee, one of South Africa’s most loved and admired fashion designers, to debut original designs that are immediately distinguishable as creations by this established and celebrated designer. All genders, sizes, and cultures are represented in the work by Gert-Johan Coetzee, and the models who walk in the show reflect Coetzee’s commitment to diversity.
“I wanted Barbie to experience South Africa to its fullest by integrating an array of South African cultural elements into the collection. Striking pink from the Pedi culture complimented by geometric patterns inspired by the Zulu culture” explains Coetzee. Using “South African beadwork in black and white, I took inspiration from the Xhosa culture, I wanted this collection to encapsulate a true South African experience.”
The clothing collection includes both couture and ready to wear items. Fifteen ready to wear items from the collection will be available on Coetzee’s website for purchase, and couture items can be made to order.
“As the most diverse fashion doll in the market with over 170 different diverse looks, shapes and sizes, Barbie continues to show the impact of representation and we are absolutely honoured and inspired to be working with South African designer Gert-Johan Coetzee whose work embodies these values”, says Scott Hobson Country Manager Mattel South Africa (PTY) LTD.
The collaboration was led with Blue Horizon Licensing, Mattel’s official brand licensing partner in South Africa and a key partner in producing this collaboration.
As part of the Barbie Loves Gert collection, Coetzee describes his finale piece as a “one-of-a-kind gown – even in doll size – it’s absolute haute couture.” Over three thousand genuine rhinestone crystals and pearls were manually applied to the fabric to create the replica for Barbie. The dress is made of more than 40 meters of bright pink tulle ruches, and the entire construction took over 50 meticulous hours to create.
“Barbie has collaborated with designers many times but I really wanted the African interpretation to stand out. When people look at the collaboration from around the world they must really feel inspired by the diversity of Africa, the richness of our culture and the beauty of our men and women,” concludes Coetzee.