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Inside Gert-Johan Coetzee’s ‘Recession Proof’ Ready To Wear Autumn ’19 Collection

Top South African designer Gert-Johan Coetzee is bringing high fashion chic garb for style lovers navigating life during tough economic conditions.

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Gert Johan Coetzee Autumn 2019

It’s common sense that when money is tight, people tighten their belts and cut down on luxuries. And with more petrol price increases looming and a technical recession making everyone nervous, it is a hard time to be selling luxury goods… or is it?

For designer Gert-Johan Coetzee, taking the economy in his stride – even poking gentle fun at money worries –  is a business challenge that he is relishing. In his new Autumn Winter 2019 Collection that is showcasing at SA Fashion Week, the focus is on more affordable ready to wear, but also a brand-new line of menswear, including underwear and swimwear.

His and hers looks from South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee's 'recession-proof' winter/autumn collection

“There might be economic reasons to be gloomy, but there is no time like a downturn to really sharpen your focus and identify the things that are most important in your business…and the reality is that people still want to feel good, and look good, even when their budget shrinks,” said Coetzee.

His and hers looks from South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee's 'recession-proof' winter/autumn collection

“With this collection we have thought carefully about new product categories, and while our elaborate showstopping red-carpet and bridal gowns will always be our greatest joy, we can bring the designer touch within more people’s reach with our ready-to-wear Gert line, and by targeting male clients, with suits but also with smaller luxury items such as the beautiful new Gert men’s underwear.”

His and hers looks from South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee's 'recession-proof' winter/autumn collection

Photo by Aart Verrips

Coetzee has had a year of milestones, starting with his 30th birthday last November. His passion for education and empowering the next generation got a shot in the arm this year with his role as the mentor on South Africa’s first season of Project Runway, where his expertise and fair, good-natured input kept the frazzled contestants on track to produce their best work.

His own bursary programme runs in collaboration with the Northwest School of Design, is now in its eighth year, and two new students will be chosen next month to start their fashion studies free of charge next year.

His and hers looks from South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee's 'recession-proof' winter/autumn collection

The students in the programme are all personally mentored by Coetzee. “I am absolutely committed to pass on the knowledge that I have gained, because I want a South African fashion industry full of skilled, passionate designers who can make a living doing what they love, like me.” He is dedicating this new AW19 collection to his bursary students, some of whom will be working behind the scenes at SAFW getting his new collection on the ramp, and, he says, it is about having faith in the future of the industry and the power of education.

His and hers looks from South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee's 'recession-proof' winter/autumn collection

Investing in a menswear range has already paid off for Coetzee, who has been able to say yes when asked to dress Beyoncé’s father Dr Mathew Knowles and his wife Gena Knowles for a number of events in the past week. The couple was in South Africa to promote Knowles’s new book The Emancipation of Slaves Through Music.

His and hers looks from South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee's 'recession-proof' winter/autumn collection

Photo by Aart Verrips

The influential music mogul hosted the African Leaders 4 Change Awards,and was a guest judge on the music talent show Idols South Africa. In between, he also managed to address the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and finally, attend the glamorous opening party for South African Fashion Week hosted by Cruz Vodka.

His and hers looks from South African fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee's 'recession-proof' winter/autumn collection

Photo by Aart Verrips

Coetzee’s new AW19 Collection is inspired by his travels, his love for Italian style as personified by the luxury of Ferrari, and he has built on his previous collection for McDonald’s by further exploring pop iconography. In addition to his trademark red-carpet showstoppers and the new menswear range, fans can expect playful references to stop signs and other road markings – “STOP worrying about the recession,” Coetzee quips.

The Gert-Johan Coetzee AW19 showcase took place at SA Fashion Week on Thursday 25 October, at the Protea Court Rooftop at Sandton City

Fashion

SAFW Day One – Gallery of The Hottest Action

Here’s a glimpse of the hottest trends, threads, collections and glittering action on the first day of SAFW

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SAFW RECAP

Fashion aesthetes and the South African fashion industry assembled to witness the display of the freshest collections from some of the land’s hottest fashion dab-hands, as well as welcome surprises from new players in the field.

The first day of South African Fashion Week was an explosion of much colour, plenty of experimenting with silhouettes and textiles, and a lot of play on texture. I love the freshness with some of the collections that found a creative way of incorporating the classic ‘African’ aesthetic – playing with traditional patterns – without limiting the scope of what that looks like.

It’s always an exciting time, both on and off the runway.

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Fashion

adidas Switches up The Nite Jogger

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adidas nite jogger

adidas Originals offers up new iterations of the Nite Jogger model this month, reinterpreting the iconic road running sneaker through another unmissable aesthetic update.

The reflective silhouette returns to stake its claim as an essential for any night time creator, backed with a campaign created by a global network of artists working in their fields of expertise.

adidas nite jogger

With music by electronic duo Mount Kimbie, British artist and filmmaker Frank Lebon directed the campaign film as a poetic ode to the people and things that thrive in spaces generated by darkness. The campaign demonstrates how night time can act as the perfect backdrop for expression.

RELATED: ADIDAS CONSORTIUM PARTNERS WITH SHELFLIFE 

Shining a light on three young creators, the film features New York rapper Wiki, London born poetic singer Obong Jayar, and Cai, a spoken word poet and member of Say it Out Loud Tokyo.

adidas nite jogger

Illuminating its wearer after dark, the campaign shows how the Nite Jogger silhouette brings together function first technology and forward thinking design, in order to push today’s night time creator firmly to the forefront.

Harnessing the reflective hi-vis technology of its past iteration, the silhouette is engineered for those who know it’s never too late to pursue their vision.

RELATED: ADIDAS INTRODUCES NITE JOGGER KICK

Accompanying the film are photographs shot on film by London based photographer and multi-media artist Bafic, which oscillate naturally between day and night, demonstrating the unrelenting creative spirit that Nite Jogger shoe seeks to embody.

adidas nite jogger

Returning this month, the new Nite Jogger sneakers feature lightweight nylon ripstop, soft mesh knit, and suede overlays.

Combined, these materials offer advanced adaptability for the unrelenting grind of 24/7 creativity. Hi-vis reflective details complete the upper, adding a new dimension to the shoe’s name and establishing it as a must have in the arsenal of any creative that thrives at night.

RELATED: THE YEEZY 500 SALT DROPS 

All of this is then rounded off with a BOOST midsole and durable rubber outsole, resulting in a silhouette that is elevated for comfort and engineered for night time exploration.

The Nite Jogger sneaker is capped off by the message “speed of nite” written in morse code on its outsole and tongue. Offered in a flurry of distinct new colourways, featuring tonal greys, pastel greens, and eye-catching orange hits, the result is a striking expression of the Nite Jogger silhouette’s enduring aesthetic, presented in an exciting new context.

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Fashion

adidas Consortium Partners With ShelfLife

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Shelflife x adidas Square - 3

Since it first came into being, adidas Consortium has been committed to bringing together partners, retailers and collectives who exemplify a unique, fearless approach to collaboration.

Each new partnership offers up a creative new take on the iconic styles that adidas has developed over the decades. In doing so they shine an entirely new light on the sportswear brand’s high-performance technologies and commitment to craftsmanship.

Shelflife x adidas Square - 1

The latest adidas Consortium release is a global first that exemplifies the international mindset of the wide-ranging Consortium family.

First launching in 2006, Shelflife are O.G. trailblazers, bringing an utterly distinct, cutting-edge curation of streetwear and sneakers to their South African devotees, via their Johannesburg and Cape Town stores.

Shelflife x adidas Square - 4

Taking on the formidable heritage of the adidas ZX running shoe series, Shelflife bring their own eye-catching approach to a new iteration of the ZX4000 model.

Viewed straight-on from the outside, the Shelflife version is defined by its understated use of luxurious greyscale nubuck and woven fabric underlays that evoke the historic craftsmanship of the retailers’ home country. On foot and in action however, the medial side of the shoe is revealed, showcasing a colorful, jacquard-printed panel.

All campaign assets for the release were created and shot in South Africa by local creatives Paul Ward (photographer) and Gabrielle Kannemeyer (stylist), further strengthening the bond between one of the most memorable Consortium releases of the year and the place, people and heritage that brought the shoe to life.

adidas Consortium x Shelflife will be available for purchase on April 13th 2019 at the Shelflife stores in Johannesburg and Cape Town as well as online at www.shelflife.co.za from 6pm. Sneakers will be releasing on a first come first serve basis.

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