Barbie has teamed up with renowned local fashion designer Gert-Johan Coetzee, who has created a new ready-to-wear fashion collection and couture dress inspired by the world's most popular fashion doll and the diversity of South Africa.
The Barbie Loves Gert collection comprises 31 South African-inspired original looks
“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 true South African experience.”
The clothing collection includes both couture and ready-to-wear items. Fifteen ready-to-wear items from the collection will be available on Coetzee’s website for purchase and 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 for Mattel South Africa.
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 metres of bright pink tulle ruches and the entire construction took over 50 meticulous hours to create.
“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 really 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 five different items, and each item will be available in two colours. The shoes will be available at Europa Art stores as well as through their online store.