Gert Johan Coetzee to mentor local fashion designers

  • Wedding Expo to bring latest wedding trends under one roof
  • Local Designers participating in Internship Programmes for Mr Price Group in Durban


Whether it’s a lavish five star affair or an intimate gathering for loved ones, Batswana have traditionally sourced their wedding supplies outside the country. This is according to the marketing administrator and organizer of the Grand Palm’s wedding Expo, Samantha Bogopa who is bringing celebrity stylist and fashion muse Gert-Johan Coetzee as one of the headlining acts for the expo slated for Saturday 6 April 2019 at the Grand Palm Hotel. In addition to his high glamour, showstopper gowns that are increasingly seen on global superstars including Oprah Winfrey, Kelly Rowland and Bonang Matheba, Coetzee has built a thriving fashion house encompassing ready to wear, edgy street wear, red carpet and wedding gowns.

“ Gert is coming to mentor our local designers so that we create a market here that will not see the need to cross borders for trendy wedding gowns. He is one of the headliners for the Grand Palm Bridal Fashion show that will take place on the day of the wedding expo,’ Bogopa said.

The Expo will also showcase the latest wedding trends, a dream team of suppliers including wedding dress designers, cake decorators to decor specialists and planners under one roof. According to the 2019 wedding trends forecast, couples are gravitating towards exotic lush wedding venues, adding vintage accents to their decor and stringing up rustic bulbs alongside floral arrangements. Meghan Markle has also influenced the comeback of the classic and simple wedding gown. Her wedding look has inspired women towards a more regal, yet modest fashion choice while the trend for grooms is adding on more layers by bringing back the three-piece suit in various colours and patterns.

This year’s Wedding Expo has partnered with Fashion Without Borders (FWB) to showcase the work of some of Botswana’s most talented young designers as well as some of the continent’s renowned designers in one stage. In the past four installments of FWB models were signed up with international model agency Boss Model Management and Botswana fashion houses aspiring to produce quality products. In 2017, FWB brought buyers from the Mr Price Group and Edcon group who in a previous interview with Time Out said they were impressed with the high level of creativity and inspiration from local designs on the catwalk. They promised to work with some designers in the future, but have not given an update after the fashion showcase.

“After that show, fashion buyers said they were intrigued by the texture of our garments. To date we have seven local designers participating in Internship Programmes for Mr Price Group in Durban, South Africa. I should make it clear that when we talk of fashion buyers working with locals we should not expect to see a local brand and collection housed in Mr Price stores because they only buy concepts and incorporate it under their brand,” said brainchild of FWB, Serge Kabisoso pointing out that Mr Price wanted to collaborate with FWB 2017 Best Upcoming Fashion Designer, Natasha Tlagae from House of Noir who declined the offer because she had a different plan for her collection.

Tickets to the FWB fashion show taking place on 5th April 2019 cost P250 for standard ticket, P500 Vip and a VIP 3 day pass for P1000. Entry to the Wedding Expo on 5th April cost P25 and all proceeds will be donated to charity. Exhibitors can contact the Grand Palm for bookings.