Emerging from South Africa at a time when personal identity was the new differentiator, designer Jacques van der Watt has placed a distinct mark on South African fashion. Historically aware, self-referential and conceptually grounded, the energy which drives the label is consistent, but the results are never the same. Innovative thinking combined with meticulous construction and attention to detail has placed Black Coffee at the forefront of South African fashion.
Jacques van der Watt’s design approach is deeply referential, meticulously engineered and ultimately divergent. It’s an ethos that embraces contrast and re-shapes traditions with an intuitive twist. The result is mysteriously familiar yet refreshingly distinct, occupying a space somewhere between history and imagination. His enormous talent, integrity and depth of understanding have placed him as a leader of South African design where he is celebrated as the country’s most cerebral designer.
Black Coffee has shown at South Africa, New York, Berlin, Cape Town and San Francisco Fashion Weeks. The label has been nominated five times for the SA Fashion Awards and has won twice (in 2001 and 2007). In 2009 they won the Mercedes Benz Art Award with an installation that is now a permanent part of the Daimler-Chrysler art collection. In 2010 they won Best Designer in a new awards ceremony hosted by African Fashion International.
Everyonecanbeadesigner by Black Coffee is the label’s diffusion brand. Launched in 2007, Black Coffee created a totally new clothing solution: one garment that transforms into as many as five variations, each with its own look and style. This is an entire range which can fit in one suitcase - a ‘capsule range’ ideal for the demands of a modern lifestyle and a must have for travel.