DESIGN: Gert-Johan Coetzee with bursary programme winner Xoliswa Kawuzela.
Do you have a burning desire to be a part of the fashion industry?

Then one of South Africa’s biggest fashion designers is looking to open the door for you.

For the seventh year, Gert-Johan Coetzee is running his bursary programme in a bid to sponsor the tertiary education of two aspiring fashionistas.

FASHION: Gert-Johan Coetzee and Andrea Beyers, the recipient of last year’s 
fashion design bursary. She is currently completing her first year. 

But he insists that he is looking for someone who is passionate about fashion and is willing to work as hard as he does.

“I’m looking for South Africa’s next fashion star.”

He told The Star that he would favour a strong work ethic over talent.

“They don’t necessarily have to be the most talented, and having the ability to do sketches is a bonus.

“I’m looking for someone who has the same drive as I do, someone who will just die if they don’t do fashion.”

As part of Coetzee’s programme, he will sponsor two bursaries worth R345000 in total which will cover tuition fees and study materials at the North West School of Design, the same institution that he attended.

The first bursary is earmarked for one student focusing on fashion design, while the other will focus more on the business side of industry as it will be a newer fashion communication and buying qualification.

Students who've received the Coetzee bursary, and attended the North West School of Design, have gone on to successful careers, with some starting their own businesses.

FASHION: Gert-Johan Coetzee and Andrea Beyers, the recipient of last year’s 
fashion design bursary. She is currently completing her first year.


Coetzee explained that he had selected the North West School of Design as the institution of choice as he has gone through its syllabus and considers it to be reputable.

“I know exactly what kind of learning the students will do there and their time won't be wasted.

“South Africans have so much talent and the problem is that they don’t get the proper polishing they need to go out into the industry.”

For this reason, he is also offering the two students who receive the bursary the opportunity to intern with him as a way of getting even more practical experience.

He said efforts made by SA Fashion Week had allowed local designers to flourish as now retail giants such as Woolworths were buying their clothing.

To apply for the bursary, visit www.nwsa.co.za or visit Coetzee’s Instagram page, click on the link in his biography and follow the prompts to apply.

The closing date for applications is October 20.