Monday, 7 September 2015

2016 Gert-Johan Coetzee Bursary Now Open


Gert Johan with 2015 winner Christopher Gill

Fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee is looking for a talented, driven student who wants to follow in his footsteps, and has opened applications for the GJC Bursary 2016 worth R180 000. One aspirant designer will not only have their study costs covered for the three-year internationally accredited course at the Northwest School of Design, but will also be personally mentored by Gert-Johan Coetzee, and may ultimately benefit from the brand-new fellowship programme sponsored by Brutal Fruit.
The prize includes a Bernina SA sewing machine and overlocker valued at R35 000.

“There is a lot of raw talent in South Africa, and the fashion industry is growing so fast that it offers real career opportunities for skilled and talented professionals. I am lucky to be able to run a successful business doing what I love, and it’s important for me to help polish the talent in the next generation, to give them a foot in the door in a competitive industry,” says Coetzee, who is as renowned for dressing local and international celebrities as he is for his social involvement. This is the sixth year that he has extended a helping hand to a promising student who would otherwise not be able to fulfil their dream of working in fashion.
Gert-Johan With the previous winners 
In an exciting new facet to the bursary programme, Brutal Fruit will be sponsoring a fourth-year internship for the 2015 bursary graduate. As the first recipient of the Brutal Fruit Fellowship, graduate Prudence Kau, who receives her international qualification in November, will have the opportunity to spend a full year at Coetzee’s studio, fine-tuning her craft and learning about the business of design and production first-hand. “We are thrilled that Brutal Fruit has partnered with us so we can offer what amounts to a master’s programme to the GJC bursary graduate in 2016,” said Coetzee.
As for this year’s bursary, applications are open, and aspirant designers who have a national Senior Certificate Matriculation or an international equivalent have until 6 October 2015 to apply. They have to submit two sketches and a mood board along the theme Uptown Cool.

The theme – Uptown Cool, bringing two worlds into one. This is minimalism meets sports luxe. It’s for a girl with a simple and chic approach to fashion. The cool girl of fashion.
#Trendy #Fresh #Low_Key_Slay
The winner of the bursary must be able to relocate to Klerksdorp, North West Province, to complete his/her fulltime studies. The bursary excludes accommodation, meals and transport.  Gert Johan Coetzee will select 7 finalists.  It is mandatory for all finalists to attend the Platinum Fashion Festival on Saturday 7 November 2015.

The top 7 finalists will undergo an interview process with Gert Johan Coetzee and his publicist.  The finalist’s individual, personal interviews will be conducted at the NWSD Platinum Fashion Festival, VIP Lounge. 

The winner of the bursary will be announced by Gert Johan Coetzee at the gala event of the Platinum Fashion Festival on  7 November 2015, in Klerksdorp at the Portuguese Hall. 

The NWSD Platinum Fashion Festival event’s team will assist all finalists with transport and accommodation arrangements and will brief the finalists on time lines for interviews and attendance of the various Platinum Fashion Festival shows.  

“I am looking for someone who displays real passion and an attitude that nothing will stand in their way,” explains the designer. “Yes, there must be talent too, but skill and technique can be taught, while attitude is what really separates the winners from the wannabes.”  Coetzee himself started making clothes as a business when he was barely in his teens, and credits the Northwest School of Design in Klerksdorp, where he enrolled as a 17-year-old, and graduated as Designer of the Year in 2005, for laying the groundwork to his successful career. He has been on the college’s advisory committee for the past 6 years.
Christopher Gill
Last year’s bursary winner, Christopher Gill from Lephalale, earned his living as a salesman before the bursary came along, while making dresses for women as a hobby. “I’ve always  loved designing and sewing but there was no way for me to make fashion a career; and getting the bursary has changed all that. Thanks to Gert-Johan and Northwest School of Design I am learning so much and I know I will leave here with the skills to be successful in the fashion industry,” says Gill. He echoes his mentor about the importance of being passionate about fashion, and the dedication needed to cope with what is a lot of very hard work. “Only apply for this bursary if you really really want to give it your all, because it will demand all your time and effort,” is his advice to students who want to apply.
To apply, complete the online GJC bursary application available on and submit along with the supporting documents as specified on the website.

“I can’t wait to see the entries… it is always so inspiring to see how much talent is out there,” says Coetzee. “My dream is to open Instagram one day and see an Oscar winner crediting one of my bursary graduates for her gorgeous red-carpet gown. That will be the ultimate affirmation. And who knows, maybe this year we find that person and start them on their road!”

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