GERT-JOHAN COETZEE TO SPONSOR A FASHION STUDENT WITH R180
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.
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
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.
complete the online GJC bursary application available on www.nwsd.co.za and submit along with thesupporting documents as specified on
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!”