Barbie Goes Pedi


Lauded local fashion designer Gert Johan-Coetzee has teamed up with Barbie South Africa to bring us a sumptuous new collection of clothes. Drawing inspiration from Pedi and Xhosa patterns, the clothes also have miniature doll versions.

American icon Barbie has divorced her life-long partner Ken, and is now in bed with celebrated South African fashion designer, Gert-Johan Coetzee. Well, that’s not exactly the case, as it was revealed last week at a Joburg-based soiree to celebrate the matrimonial bond.

At a glitz and glamour event befitting both parties involved, Barbie South Africa announced a collaboration with Coetzee, who has created a new, ready to wear South African-inspired collection, which includes doll-sized attires for Barbie, as well.

What strikes you first is just how representative the men and women’s collection is, as Coetzee knows that South Africans come in all shapes and sizes. This message was portrayed by the models at the event, who represented various racial backgrounds, ethnicities and cultures.

Diversity was a word that was loosely thrown around, as the collaboration is further highlighting just how important the concept is. To some, it might seem like just a doll, but a black Barbie wearing striking pink traditional garments from the Pedi culture complemented by geometric patterns inspired by the Zulu nation – is much deserved acknowledgment.

The collection’s black and white South African beadwork was inspired by the Xhosa culture, demonstrating that traditional wear should not be limited to your office’s Heritage Month lunch-time event at the canteen, but can be haute couture as well.

Star of the show

The piece-de-resistance of the collection is a one-of-a-kind gown, decorated with over 3 000 rhinestone crystals and pearls. The dress is made of more than 40m of bright pink folded pleats, adding a touch of elegance, ready for the festive season’s fancy shindigs. Barbie also gets her own version.

Barbie has collaborated with a number of world-famous fashion designers and brands, such as Karl Lagerfeld (2014), Estee Lauder (2007) and Vogue ((2010), but Coetzee’s is perhaps the most culturally impactful partnership, as  it touches on trending topics such #BlackLivesMatter and #RepresentationMatters.

Sidebar: Gert-Johan Coetzee and Europa Art Group joined forces to design and create the shoes for the collection. The shoes will be available at Europa Art stores as well as on Visit to find more information, or to make a purchase.

Written by Sbu Mkwanazi

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