Gert-Johan Coetzee Dedicates His Collection to Women Facing Violence


The Jozi designer breaks new ground with hi-tech 3D printing technology and is sold out for his showing at SAFW. The Socialite finds out more…

Gert-Johan Coetzee’s latest collection is inspired by a sea urchin and the key piece which will be revealed this weekend at SA Fashion Week.

These delicate, graceful sea creatures would be defenceless if it weren’t for their sharp spines… and that image of defence came to mind when Coetzee was conceptualising his new collection. “There has been so much violence against women in the news this year already, and I wish we could eradicate that. GJC is all about making women look and feel beautiful, and I started thinking imagine clothes could become armour to protect defenceless women,” says Coetzee.

“That is why I decided to dedicate my Spring/Summer 2013 collection to women who face violence, and why I approached Shout, whose message that we should stand up and not be silent really resonates with me,’ explains the designer.

In designing the elements needed to bring the image in his mind to life, Coetzee, always looking for the cutting edge, collaborated with the Vaal University of Technology to bring the latest in high technology to the catwalk.  Three-dimensional printing is a miraculous-seeming technology that creates previously impossible geometries in single pieces, limited only by the designer’s imagination.

Coetzee is very excited about the results. ‘I cannot wait for everyone to see the collection on Saturday… I have gone for a wearable collection that recall the Sixties and Seventies in terms of design, but enhanced with some really fantastical elements, which was made possible with the advanced 3-D printing technologies.”

The face of Coetzee’s last collection, Thando Hopa, is also involved this time around, and thrilled by the involvement with Shout. ‘Gert has shown what he can do in raising awareness of albinism, so I know this initiative will be just as powerful,” says the young prosecutor who has redefined perceptions of albinism since she was given a platform by Coetzee last year.

Coetzee is in the process of finalising a suitable project with Shout to get involved with. Says Shout chairman Gavin Koppel, “There are many people doing great things, who don’t have Gert-Johan’s influence, and for him to throw his weight behind such a project can make all the difference. The project that we are looking at provides washable sanitary protection for schoolgirls in rural areas, and we are confident that with Gert-Johan’s involvement thousands of girls’ lives will be improved.”

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