GERT-JOHAN COETZEE GIVES THE BIG MAC A 50th BIRTHDAY FASHION SPIN

It’s a mashup of iconic fashion and fast food as designer Gert-Johan Coetzee teams up with McDonald’s South Africa for the 50th birthday of the world’s most iconic burger, the Big Mac. The collaboration, and a sneak peek of Coetzee’s glamorous Big Mac-inspired fashion collection, was revealed last night at a festive event in Sandton, hosted by It Girl Nomzamo Mbatha.

Coetzee’s latest collection, which will be shown next week at South African Fashion Week, includes a range of edgy streetwear inspired by the Big Mac. Alongside the high-glamour red-carpet showstoppers the designer is best known for, he will also send glam casualwear down the ramp. All the proceeds of the exclusive range will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provide a safe home, comfort and care to families of children receiving specialised hospital treatment.

  Models wearing the Big Mac range pose with Gert-Johan Coetzee, and McDonald’s ambassadors Somizi Mhlongo and Nomzamo Mbatha. Photo:  Nicole Laxton Photography

Models wearing the Big Mac range pose with Gert-Johan Coetzee, and McDonald’s ambassadors Somizi Mhlongo and Nomzamo Mbatha. Photo:  Nicole Laxton Photography

“After 50 years of unwavering popularity, the Big Mac is a pop culture icon, and we had to celebrate this milestone with something extraordinary. Seeing its iconography interpreted into fashion by a leading designer is very rewarding,” said McDonald’s SA’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Daniel Padiachy. He noted Coetzee’s own dedication to social issues as a cementing factor in the relationship. “This collaboration will directly benefit families who need support during a child’s illness, and the synergy and shared values that made this possible is a foundation that we’re excited to build on,” he said.

In addition to the GJC Big Mac 50th Collection, the company is also introducing the new Grand Big Mac and Mac Jnr, which will feature on the menu for a limited time, offering a bigger and smaller than standard sandwich to fit all possible appetites. The original Big Mac was the invention of a franchisee in the US back in the Sixties, and the burger with the magical combination of two 100% beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame-seed bun was such an instant success that it was quickly added to McDonald’s menus worldwide. And the popularity has only grown… today 27 Big Macs are sold every second across the globe.

To turn this popular food icon into a fashion statement, Coetzee took inspiration from urban club culture, for a range that includes tinsel jackets, trendy tracksuits, faux fur and blinged-up T-shirts. “It’s comfortable and wearable, but still edgy and glam, and there is something for everyone,” he said, revealing that the range will include some kiddies’ items too. His announcement that the range will also include menswear, something that the designer has had countless requests for over the years, was met with enthusiastic cheers.

Models wearing T-shirts and tracksuits in black, gold and red, with stylized, sequined McDonald’s iconography, showed guests a sneak preview of what to expect when the full range is revealed next week. McDonald’s will be broadcasting the SAFW showcase live to all their social media followers.

Coetzee explained that his main Spring Summer 18 collection has a colour palette that includes variations of ultraviolet, which is the Pantone colour of the year, and juxtaposes hi-tech holographic fabrics, feathers and sequins with depictions of the Chinese lucky cat. “There is an element of luck in all success, and I want to acknowledge that with gratitude. I am grateful that we can give back this season by contributing to the Ronald McDonald Family Rooms at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto. These Family Rooms have had over 50 000 families come through their doors to date.” 

The GJC SA Fashion Week showcase takes place on 12 April, and the GJC Big Mac range will be available for sale soon on Coetzee’s online store, www.shopgert.com. Details of the live broadcast of the show will be posted on McDonald’s and Coetzee’s social media platforms.