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Ten local designs created by youth chosen for first ever Junk Kouture World Final

hosted in the Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi on 11 Jan 2023 


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Picture 1: Junk Punk Denim by Emily Humphreys and Olivia Volt of Clearview Regional High School, New Jersey, made from upcycled denim used to create the patchwork, bottle caps, cans, and recycled rope. 

New York City (NYC), 26 October 2022 - Last night Tuesday 25th October was the turn of the American up-and-coming eco-conscious creators and fashion designers at the first ever NYC final of Junk Kouture, the world’s largest sustainable youth fashion competition. Thirty haute-couture designs made from 100% recycled materials created and modelled by talented post-primary students took to the digital stage on Junk Kouture’s YouTube and TikTok channels for the New York City Final.  

Ten was the magicnumber on the night as ten creations by young designers aged 13 -18 years from the city and nearby states were chosenby the Junk Kouture judgesBen Barry, Nicole McLaughlin and Emma McKee to represent the US at the first ever Junk Kouture World Final in the iconic Etihad Arena, Yas Island Abu Dhabi on the 11 January 2023.  

The final 10 designs from the US will be up against50 other designs- 10 from each of Junk Kouture’sother finals: the UK, Italy, France, Ireland, and UAE. At the World Final, therewill be six individual City Designer Awardsfor each locationplus the firstever Junk Kouture World Designer of the Year! Other prizes up for grabs include the Glamour Award, Wearable Art Award, Innovation Award and Performance Award. Watch as they model and perform in haute - couture designs made entirely from recycled materials for celebrity judges, industry experts and an audience of cheering supporters flown into Abu Dhabi from around the world! A night of creativity, performance, talent and live music from special guests awaits. A celebration of young people and the circular engineers of tomorrow! 



Without further ado, and in no particular order, the ten designs heading for the World Final are: 

  • Junk Punk Denim by Emily Humphreys and Olivia Volt of Clearview Regional High School, New Jersey, made from upcycled denim used to create the patchwork, bottle caps, cans, and recycled rope.  
  • Sugar Pink Rockstar by Yanin Thammarangsri, Fatima Koita, and Sonia Domlan of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, New York, made from metallic chrome balloons, pink straws, cardboard, yarn strings, upcycled fabric, safety pins, staples, and paper plates.  
  • Junk Karnival by Sarah Arriola and Chloe Davis of McIntosh High School, Georgia, made from coca-cola cans, plastic water bottles, metal wire, newspaper, yarn, dye, glue, cardboard, tape, old t-shirts, can tabs, thread, plastic grocery, and trash bags, ribbon, old bedding fabric, old heels, and an old bodysuit.   
  • D'Fear by Xiwen Mark of Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, New York made from plastic, paper, and upcycled clothes.  
  • Grandstar by Natalia Monsale, Virginia Papasidero, and Astro Mejia of Glen Cove High School, New York, made from plastic water bottles, paper bags, paper clips, and recycled clothing.   
  • Tree of Life by Ísis de Farias Madeira of M600 The High School of Fashion Industries, New York, made from banana fiber. In addition, scraps and deadstock fabric were used to construct the base of the dress, to which the banana fibers were sewn. The shoes were thrifted and embellished with the same materials. The threads used to sew are made from recycled polyester.  
  • The Nightingale by Christopher King, Jazzlynn Vargas, and Josselyn Garcia of North Bergen High School, New Jersey, made from blue wrap, which is a surgical wrap and equates to 19% of the medical waste and pool insulation foam.  
  • Mask Dress by Naomi Carrion of Bronx International High School, New York made from masks, thread, and glue.  
  • Record Breaker by Lia Aldea-Lustig of Byram Hills High School, New York, made from upcycled clothing, CDs, and cassette tapes (shells and tape).  
  • Buttons by Marykate Hanus and Jennifer Toler of North Kingstown High School, Rhode Island, made from buttons, fabric, glue, string, and wire. 

Junk Kouture judge and Dean of Fashion at Parsons School of Design Ben Barry saidGet ready for the NYC designs taking to Abu Dhabi to fill you up with hope for the future of fashion and the survival of our planet. What the students created is truly exceptional -- unbounded creativity, craft and consciousness will be on full display. I'm so excited for the world to be introduced to the finalists and their creations. Judging Junk Kouture New York has been a privilege. We're cultivating a generation of high school fashion designers who don't think that climate justice is an addition or afterthought to their design practice but instead it is the foundation -- a creative opening for new fashion aesthetics, silhouettes, and form.” 


Junk Kouture judge and fashion designer Nicole McLaughlin said“I've been incredibly impressed by the calibre of design and execution of the projects I've seen from the designers. Junk Kouture is an important outlet for teenagers looking to explore their creativity in the sustainability world. They understand the importance of this message and look to nurture the future through imagination and empowerment via amazing opportunities. And all you want to do is continue to cheer them on. This is just the start of their journeys. I hope the designers who make it to Abu Dhabi remember to make some fantastic memories and enjoy themselves. Have fun!” 

Supporting Junk Kouture as an events partner at the World Final is Miral, Abu Dhabi’s leading creator of immersive destinations and experiences. With the support of Miral and Etihad Airways, the official airline partner and global partner of Junk Kouture, all local and international participants and supporters travelling to the World Final of Junk Kouture will be immersed into the culture and entertainment Abu Dhabi has to offer. Standard ticket pricing for the show starts at AED 100, with attendees provided the option to create bespoke packages to include accommodation and other unique experiences on the island and across the capital. 

Find out more about tickets and experience packages for the upcoming World Final of Junk Kouture in the Etihad Arena from Keep up to speed with all things Junk Kouture and sign up your school for the 2023 cycle of the creative program across social media @junkkouture and online