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North West School of Design and Gert-Johan Coetzee is launching his annual bursary again. This bursary entitles two lucky people the opportunity of a lifetime to complete his or her studies at the alma-mater of Gert-Johan Coetzee. Coetzee launched the bursary in 2009 and it is grown from strength to strength. Hundreds of applications are received on annual basis, and from there, 10 nationwide finalists are chosen. Telephonic interviews and personal interviews take place.
Eventually Gert-Johan chooses his two winners and their lives change for the better. Winners will commence their 2022 studies commencing January 2022 at North West School of Design. The principal of North West School of Design gives guidance to these winners, and Gert-Johan Coetzee himself will oversee to the development of the learners by mentoring them as well as internships at his studio in Linden to further let their fashion careers soar to new heights.
Previous winners of the bursary are employed in various sectors of the fashion industry, mass-production at factories, assistant designers, studio managers, owners of their own shops, retail industry specialists and fashion lectures and the list goes on.
Some testimonials of previous winners are as follows:
Prudence Kau – Bursary Winner 2015
The GJC bursary has been the most prominent stepping stone towards building my fashion career. Not only has it helped me acquire the necessary skills required to be an overall fashion designer with an internationally accredited fashion qualification, but has also given me the confidence to step out on my own and start my own fashion label, @racheljamesdesigns studio based in the Maboneng precinct in Johannesburg. We focus on custom made women’s wear and are currently looking into expansion. The journey still continues, still so much to be achieved but none of it would’ve been possible had I not been given the opportunity to be mentored by the best. I would encourage anyone with a dream and passion for fashion to apply for this bursary.
Patrick Ferguson – Bursary Winner 2017
After being lucky enough to receive the Gert-Johan Coetzee Bursary at the end of 2017, I was able to grow my love for fashion design at North West School of Design. Winning the fashion design bursary I was able to grow my knowledge in the design side, from making patterns, to the principles of design and garment construction, as well as the business side, being given the fundamentals of running and starting your own business. Under the guidance and expertise of the lecturers I was able to develop my skills and achieve numerous awards throughout my years studying. After graduating and gaining much experience through NWSD and their Alumni, I was able to get a position as a Pattern maker at a factory located in Midrand, Gauteng, while also starting my own business part-time.
Yaaseen Pinetown – Bursary Winner 2017
“At the North West School of Design, a student is equipped with many skills, particularly for me, garment construction and entrepreneurship—as well as refining my skills as a fashion illustrator and writer. Fashion communication provides exposure to the business of fashion, events planning, trend research and fashion writing. Not only have I been fortunate enough to study this, but my education has allowed me the freedom of fashion design—where I would draft my own patterns, sew my own garments, fit my models and showcase skillfully crafted collections each year. Since graduating, I have had the privilege of networking with other renowned designers, and now freelance as a designer for my own label, Yaaseen Pinetown, as well as work for Andréa Willow, a contemporary ready-to-wear brand directed by Andréa Willow Beyers, a Gert-Johan Coetzee bursary winner and my good friend. The Gert-Johan Coetzee bursary is the key to a habitat of culture at the North West School of Design, where you find yourself surrounded by willing and helpful individuals who offer a wealth of insight on anything-and-all-things fashion and provide support. Of course, if you were awarded the bursary, you would have the chance to experience the operations of the Gert-Johan Coetzee atelier, where—if you’re lucky enough—get the first look into their latest collections! The North West School of Design gives you the freedom to explore all the facets of fashion business and design. Fashion communication is not the limit, but only the beginning.”
Gert-Johan Coetzee will announce the winners of the two bursaries in November 2021. This event is an annual event hosted by the North West School of Design, whereby the current students of North West School of Design put up an stunning event which attracts guests, fashion bloggers etc, and 1st year students showcase, Avant Garde Wear, whereas 2nd year students, 4 look Couture Collections and final years a 10 look Ready to Wear range.