Gert-Johan Coetzee's jewellery finds home at American Swiss

'It's vital to tell the story about art, design and sustainability'

Renowned fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee launches his new jewellery line.
Renowned fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee launches his new jewellery line.
Image: Supplied

Less than a year after moving into his new atelier in Bryanston, Sandton, fashion designer to the stars Gert-Johan Coetzee has recently found a second new home on shelves of jewellery giant American Swiss.

A handful of Coetzee’s private clients, members of the press, close friends and family were given an exclusive preview of the jewellery collection.

Upon arrival, guests were greeted at the door by rails dripping of Coetzee’s recent ready-to-wear animal print inspired collection that was displayed for guests’ perusal and admiration. After lingering in the hallway with zingy mimosas and sparkling wine, guests were ushered into the tight viewing area and our eyes sparkled with glee.

The collection drew its inspiration from the design of two African elephant trunks linked together to form a heart shape, which is the motif in each piece. In addition, the African elephant is Coetzee’s brand mascot.

“What was important for me was to tell the story about art, design and sustainability,” Coetzee says, explaining how the collection syncs perfectly with his bridal, couture and ready-to-wear offerings.

“Your wedding is the biggest red carpet of your life, but what lives after the beautiful moment is the jewellery,” says flamboyant Coetzee detailing the process and uniqueness of the bridal pieces, made of supernova moissanite gemstone whose brilliance and whiteness come second to diamonds.

Each piece in the collection is crafted in sustainable stones and precious metals in everyday accessories of rings, earrings and neckpieces. 

A first of its kind, the Love Knot collection was a major trajectory for Coetzee. However, never one to back down from a challenge, swopping shears for stones wasn’t an easy transition, but he soon found his footing.

“It was scary because I’d never transitioned into jewellery before. However, because I know my customer, who I am as a designer and what my aesthetic is made it easy,” says Coetzee. 

Walking further into the studio and neatly tucked away in the corners of the showroom were mannequins with bedazzled elephant heads dressed in Coetzee’s designs. One of which was a custom golden shimmering crystal encrusted dress worn by A-lister Bonang Matheba at a recent prolific outing. As the experience wined down, guests were served canapés and takeaway brunch treats from a noted patisserie on the outside patio overlooking the pool and lush greenery where the garden furniture was set up.

With aspirations for Gert-Johan Coetzee to become a self-sustainable in-house brand and his continual expansion into the US, Coetzee’s new mission is for every woman to have a piece of his brand everywhere they go.

“This year my focus is to produce extremely well-made artisanal leather handbags made from materials such as Nile crocodile and ostrich skin, materials that are true to Africa.”  

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