Last night Barbie announced an ultra-luxe and much-anticipated collaboration with local fashion designer to the stars Gert-Johan Coetzee. Gert has successfully created a new ready-to-wear South African-inspired collection that is bound to be on our Christmas wish lists this Summer. This collection includes a couture dress made specifically to fit the number one fashion doll in the world – Barbie.
About the collection
The Barbie Loves Gert collection, comprised of 31 looks, celebrates the uniqueness of South Africans. Each one was more fabulous than the next, and there were definitely a few items there that I had my eye on. Such as the cropped denim jacket and the pink barbie sneakers. This is the first time the international fashion icon Barbie, has worked with Gert-Johan Coetzee, to debut original designs that are immediately distinguishable as creations by this established and celebrated designer. All genders, sizes, and cultures are represented in the work by Gert-Johan Coetzee, and the models who walk in the show reflect Coetzee’s commitment to diversity. This is so important and I’m so happy that Gert understood, delivered, and nailed the assignment in terms of inclusivity. We saw models that were all genders, ages, races, and sizes, including a hijab barbie look. This new collection is nothing short of inspiring.
“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” explains Coetzee. Using “South African beadwork in black and white, I took inspiration from the Xhosa culture. I wanted this collection to encapsulate a truly South African experience.”
The clothing collection includes both couture and ready-to-wear items. 15 ready-to-wear items from the collection will be available on Coetzee’s website for purchase. While all couture items can be made to order.
“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”, says Scott Hobson Country Manager Mattel South Africa (PTY) LTD.
The collaboration was led with Blue Horizon Licensing. Mattel’s official brand licensing partner in South Africa and a key partner in producing this collaboration. As part of the Barbie Loves Gert collection, Coetzee describes his finale piece as a “one-of-a-kind gown – even in doll size – it’s absolute haute couture.” Over three thousand genuine rhinestone crystals and pearls were manually applied to the fabric to create the replica for Barbie. The dress is made of more than 40 meters of bright pink tulle ruches and the entire construction took over 50 meticulous hours to create.
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“Barbie has collaborated with designers many times but I really wanted the African interpretation to stand out. When people look at the collaboration from around the world they must feel inspired by the diversity of Africa. The richness of our culture, and the beauty of our men and women,” concludes Coetzee. Gert-Johan Coetzee and Europa Art Group joined forces to both design and create the shoes for the collection. There are 5 different items, and each item will be available in two colours. The shoes will be available at Europa Art stores as well as on https://www.europaart.co.za/. Visit https://gertjohancoetzee.com to find more information.