Gert-Johan Coetzee and McDonald’s handed over a cheque for R150 000 to the Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC) at the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital today.
“It also happened to be the 60th birthday of the RMHC today, so the timing was perfect,” said Coetzee, who confirmed that a second cheque would follow once the remaining garments from the collection are all sold.
RMHC is McDonald’s official charity, and fits out hospitality rooms for the families of sick children who are hospitalized at Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.
At present there are 27 five-star rooms at the hospital, where families can stay to be near their children who are receiving treatment. RMHC also has similar facilities in Baragwanath Hospital.
The Big Mac collection was the first time Coetzee, who is better known for his red-carpet showstoppers worn by celebrities, ventured into athleisure and childrenswear in any significant way.
“You couldn’t ask for a better partner than McDonald’s for such a project – having the chance to collaborate with such an iconic pop culture brand was such an honour, and so much fun,” says Coetzee.
“But even better was having such an impactful way to give back and make a difference in the lives of children – this is a really special cherry on top. We are so grateful to everyone who supported the project and bought the collection, to make such a big cheque possible.”
The designer explains that the McDonald’s range coincided with the launch of his more informal label, just called Gert, which is aimed at a younger audience with a stronger streetstyle identity. “My very latest collection followed up on that with a lot of athleisure and casualwear, with garments for both men and women, under the Gert label,” Coetzee confirms.
“It is a direction that we are definitely investing in, alongside the couture and red-carpet gowns, and the bridal gowns which are my favourites to create!”
Will there be further collaborations between Gert and McDonald’s? Coetzee won’t confirm or deny anything. “The McDonald’s brand is so inspirational for a designer, I have thousands of ideas! But there is nothing that we can discuss yet, so you’ll have to watch this space.”
The limited-edition Gert-Johan Coetzee Big Mac collection is still for sale on www.shopgert.com.