Acclaimed SA designer collaborates with Barbie

Acclaimed SA designer collaborates with Barbie

Fashion doll Barbie has announced a collaboration with celebrated fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee. 

Barbie dressed by Gert Johan Cotzee collar November 2021
Algoa FM

Coetzee created a new ready-to-wear South African-inspired collection and couture dress made specifically to fit the number one fashion doll in the world.


The Barbie Loves Gert collection comprises of 31 looks celebrating the uniqueness of South Africans. 


This is the first time the international fashion icon Barbie is working with Gert-Johan Coetzee, known for embracing diversity.


The collaboration is inspired the Xhosa culture, using South African beadwork in black and white.


“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,” said Coetzee. 


The manufacturer Mattel applauded the collaboration. 


“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”, said Country Manager Mattel South Africa, Scott Hobson. 


Coetzee has won numerous awards, including SA’s Most Promising Young Designer in 2006 at the age of 19, and SA Designer of the Year in 2010. 


He’s shown at international fashion weeks in Canada, Angola, and Nigeria and has a growing following in Africa.


Coetzee is also a social activist who uses the power of his fashion platform to highlight social issues.


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