Make Money Mondays

Fashion guru Gert-Johan Coetzee on money (and spreading the gospel of glamour)

Gert-Johan Coetzee.

They [the Kardashians] were all great… They were wonderful… Damn, they are tiny!

Gert-Johan Coetzee

I was always this young farm boy that was making clothes. The community found it endearing… It was never hard. I just always knew that farm life was not for me…. They [his parents] promoted it [his dream to become a fashion designer]…

Gert-Johan Coetzee

When I hit 12 or 13 years old I started making money [with fashion].

Gert-Johan Coetzee

Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews a famous person about her or his attitude to money (hopes and fears, successes and failures, etc.) as part of his weekly “Make Money Mondays, Personal Edition” feature.

This week Whitfield interviewed Gert-Johan Coetzee, one of South Africa’s most successful fashion designers.

Coetzee has fashion in his blood.

He started making dresses when he was eight years old.

At 16 he left high school to enrol in the Northwest School of Design to focus on the business of fashion.

He won the “SA’s Most Promising Young Designer” award in 2006, when he was 19.

Today he is one of South Africa’s most successful fashion designers, with well-known clients such as Thuli Madonsela, Kourtney Kardashian, Miss Universe Roelene Strauss, Minnie Dlamini, Bonang Matheba, Lee-Ann Liebenberg and many others.

Each year Coetzee gives away a bursary to a young aspirant designer.

He dedicates every collection to a social cause dear to his heart.

  • What does he believe about money?

  • How did his childhood experiences shape his views?

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for more quotes from it).

Thuli [Madonsela] said she wanted something comfortable… I suggested yellow…

Gert-Johan Coetzee

I’m so happy I dropped out of school! It gave me a head start.

Gert-Johan Coetzee

We all worked on school holidays… I wish I knew back then they [his parents] were not trying to punish us...

Gert-Johan Coetzee

I made so much money selling dog food!

Gert-Johan Coetzee

Bling is big everywhere, I think.

Gert-Johan Coetzee

The best business decision I’ve made was not being part of a partnership.

Gert-Johan Coetzee

In business there’s no such thing as easy money. It’s all hard work.

Gert-Johan Coetzee

You kind of learn how to invest your money carefully…

Gert-Johan Coetzee

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This article first appeared on 702 : Fashion guru Gert-Johan Coetzee on money (and spreading the gospel of glamour)


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