Black Coffee is the label of South African designer Jacques Van Der Watt. Known for his unsurpassable architectural flair, Jacques van der Watt of Black Coffee has carved his path on the runway since starting in 1998
Black Coffee is distinctive for the way it blurs fabrication and fashion. The sharp structural designs are characterized by complex, layered shapes that yield a fashion sensibility that is at once restrained and bold. With every collection, there is always a great sense of loyalty to local traditionalism with the approach of modernist fundamentalism - a place where construction is king and attention to detail subtly blends into beauty and innovation.
The design goes beyond adornment, often melding the body with the pattern in a meticulous feat of engineering. It renders fabric in relief, its carved features projected from the surface, marking the body so that skin is brought to prominence and embossed with fabric.
Jacques Van Der Watt is a master of the discreet style that refines craft, embellishing on traditions like millinery and applique and echoing African motifs but with modern verve. He used his unique voice to cement his place as one of Africa’s design greats. He has been nominated five times for the SA Fashion Awards, winning in 2001 and 2007. In 2009, he was awarded the Mercedes Benz Art Award with an installation shown at the Daimler Contemporary Gallery in Berlin. Black Coffee is the 2017 winner of the SAFW Cape Wools SA Designer Challenge.