Gert-Johan Coetzee designs for Kelly Rowland

R&B starlet Kelly Rowland has ordered more dresses from local designer Gert-Johan Coetzee.

Rowland was spotted wearing a Gert-Johan Coetzee dress at the Ms. Foundation for Women Gloria Steinem function in Hollywood recently. The singer took to Instagram to credit Coetzee for the stunning dress: a short, black beaded number which she rocked with black, strappy court heels.

“My beautiful dress that I wore to the Foundation for Women #GloriaSteinemEvent was by the South African designer @gertjohancoetzee AMAZING!” said Rowland on her Instagram account.

An ecstatic Coetzee says he felt proudly South African after finding out that Rowland had graced the Gloria Steinem function in his dress.

“Every dress I make is like my child, so I feel very happy when it makes the woman who wears it feel beautiful. As with any celebrity client, I take my cue from what she has worn before to get a sense of what she likes and what parts of her body she likes to show off. I consider that any dress I make her may be photographed a lot, so I make sure it will look good under camera flashes.”

Coetzee says Rowland’s assistant had since contacted him to design and send over more of his gorgeous gowns.

“We are in the planning stages, deciding on designs, fabrics and embellishments. I’ve just been signed as Swarovski’s first African ambassador and am awaiting my first shipment so I will definitely incorporate some of those gorgeous crystals,” says Coetzee.

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Fashion designer, Gert-Johan Coetzee. Image by Eunice Driver.

The designer met Rowland in September when she was in South Africa to perform at a private gig in Johannesburg. “I was asked to design something special for her and because she is looking so fit, I decided on a short, tight gown embellished with black beads in different sizes. I was thrilled that she liked it.”

Asked whether he would consider making a fashionable move to Hollywood, Coetzee said he wasn’t going anywhere just yet.

“There is so much happening in South Africa, and the growth potential here is so huge – I want to make the most of this. Plus, my gowns can travel, like this one did, so for now I have the best of both worlds.”

Coetzee is SA glamour queen Bonang Matheba’s fashion stylist and no stranger to international scrutiny. The young designer had two of his dresses worn by reality star Kourtney Kardashian and actress Kristin Cavallari.

An entrepreneur, Coetzee has partnered with Nedbank over the past two years to do regular fashion features at SA Fashion Week.