Profile of Gert-Johan Coetzee

Profile of Gert-Johan Coetzee

He is known for his Red carpet wear which could be seen at major events such as the SA Music Awards, SA Film And Television Awards, the J&B Met, You Spectacular, Huisgenoot Skouspel, the Tempo Awards, and Miss World to name a few.

His creations won the best dressed title at many of these events.

He has also dressed many of our country’s most famous people such as Esmare Weideman (Editor in chief of Huisgenoot/You and Drum), Cindy Nell, Liezel van der Westhuizen, Lira, Bonang Matheba, Doreen Morris, Basetsana Khumalu, Louise Carver, Sashi Naidoo, Tansey Coetzee, Tatum Keshwar, Nianell, Jennifer Jones, Andriette Norman en Elana Afrika, Noeleen, Miss SA Bokang Montjane. Add to the list ... international stars Kourtney Kardashian and Kristen Cavallari.

Gert-Johan noticed his love for fashion when he was very young - he dressed his pencils with tissue paper in school, and his sister’s dolls at home. He attempted to make his first dress when he was 8 years old when his father gave him R30 for material. He went for his first sewing classes at the age of 13 and started fashion design studies when he was 16. While studying he won numerous awards, including SA’s most promising young designer back in 2006.

In his second year, he won the High Fashion Award at the Vukani Fashion Awards, and this is where Sandy Ngema noticed him.

He dressed Sandy for the Durban July that year, and then for the past two seasons of Strictly Come Dancing.

Gert-Johan has since created some of our country’s most memorable dresses and became a highly respected public figure himself. This year he earned the title as SA Designer of the year, where he was nominated with 9 other of our country’s top Designers.

In 2011, he made history in SA by being the first SA Designer to have his dresses worn by a host of celebrities on the red carpet in Hollywood.

«A love affair with fabric, fashion and BERNINA since the age of 14»

Gert-Johan Coetzee and BERNINA

I started taking class at Fatima’s dressmaking and craft school when I was 12 years old. This was when I bought my first Bernina sewing machine and started taking classes at my local Bernina dealer in Rustenburg.

These classes helped me built a very strong foundation before I formally started to study Fashion Design at North West School of Design.

I started taking part in the BERNINA Fabric Fun competition when I was 14 years old. This was in 2001 and I got 2nd place in my age group, with another 2nd place in 2002.

2003 saw me in 1st place in the sewing category and 2nd place in the Fashion Design category.

In 2004 I got 1st and 2nd place in both the categories and also won the most creative and overall category in the Bernina Fabric Fun competition.

Bernina gave me the opportunity to explore my design skills at a young age, so when I went to study Fashion Design, they already built a basic platform for me regarding design skills and how to operate a sewing machine.

My studio is in Greenside Johannesburg, which is close to Bernina RSA head office and I love going there as this is where my roots as Fashion Designer started and I call on them regularly as I use a number of BERNINA machines in my design studio.

I enjoy super service from everybody at Bernina and they always attend to my needs and wishes promptly and efficiently.

Visit Gert-Johan Coetzee at