Portobello Fashion Graduate Joins Junk Kouture As It Goes Global

Image Credit: Junk Kouture
22 Sep 2021

Portobello Institute Business of Fashion graduates go on to work in many exciting roles from fashion buyers to merchandisers to entrepreneurs with their own fashion brands and stylists.  

Graduate of our Fashion Buying and Merchandising and Fashion Management courses, Caoimhe Kenny (pictured below), has carved out an exciting role on the partnerships team at Junk Kouture.  

Junk Kouture is a recycled fashion creative competition for 13 – 18 years old's that started in Ireland over 10 years ago.  

The competition provides a platform that showcases work from post-primary school students making creative designs using recycled materials. In recent months the company secured $1 million (€840,000) in seed funding. This funding values Junk Kouture at $12 million (€10million) and it continues to go from strength to strength.

The financing is to be used to accelerate the rollout of Junk Kouture’s platform in New York, London, Paris, Milan and Abu Dhabi. It also intends to launch in several new markets next year, namely Tokyo, Sydney, Cape Town, Mumbai, Sao Paolo, Singapore and Los Angeles.

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Caoimhe’s role is part of this exciting expansion as she puts her business of fashion skills into practice on the partnerships team.  

“My role involves getting sponsorship and organising events to promote Junk Kouture.  

“We have been organising events for Culture Night, for designs to be at prominent locations all around Ireland to promote the creative youth in the local areas and Junk Kouture itself.  

“We are currently going global moving into the UAE, France, the UK and New York so it is very busy. We are trying to get schools to sign up to Junk Kouture from these areas and from Ireland as well,” she said.  

Caoimhe is excited with all the opportunities her new role is bringing, and she is putting the business skills she learned at Portobello to excellent use. 

“Even if you are doing fashion buying and merchandising there are so many other possibilities of the type of work you can do in fashion, I’m still within everything I learned and a lot of what I learned does relay into what I am doing with Junk Kouture.  

“I found something that is related to fashion and business.  

“The second year was a lot more business-focused that put things into perspective for me that it is fashion I want to do but at the same time everything is business, everything revolves around business and sales,” she said.  

Troy Armour is the CEO of Junk Kouture.  

“I was very impressed with Caoimhe I have to say. She has got that great attitude and she loves a good challenge and going after it. It’s great to hire somebody that came out of Portobello. 

“She brought those pitching and presentation skills needed for our sales and sponsorships from Portobello and she has the merchandising skills to help us build out that range based on the experience she has on what things are coming in the fashion world, what’s fresh, up to date, progressive and sustainable.

"For us it has to be sustainable, sustainable fabrics, sustainable clothing so there is a real emphasis on that,” he said.  

Sustainability is a hot topic in the fashion industry and in most industries at the moment. Caoimhe said the Fashion Management course in Portobello ignited a passion in her for sustainable fashion.

“I did particularly develop a passion for sustainable fashion last year because we focused on that and to be able to translate the knowledge that I have and learned and be able to put that into Junk Kouture where they have such a good understanding of sustainable fashion is amazing, and I am really looking forward to seeing where it goes and how big it gets,” she said.  

Looking forward to the future of Junk Kouture, Caoimhe is excited to see where it can go and how schools and young people in other countries rise to the challenge. 

“There are people who have never heard of Junk Kouture in the UAE and New York, and seeing them being so in love with the idea and really warming to it and feeling passionate about it is amazing, I feel proud to work for a company that is so focused on spreading the message of sustainability.  

"It is really exciting because we are aware of it in Ireland but now it’s branching out to new places, and we are going to see a whole new level of creativity and ideas.  

“It’s going to be so interesting to see how each different place adapts to what they see Junk Kouture as and what designs they bring to the table.  

“It’s really fun too, it is work at the end of the day, but I am still being involved with fashion and I am learning things that I never thought I would have the opportunity to learn and work with people who have years of experience in many different things,” she said.  

If you are interested in an exciting career in the business of fashion from fashion buying, merchandising, styling or working in fashion management check out our Business of Fashion courses

Portobello Institute offers a Level 5 Full Time Fashion Buying and Merchandising course, a Level 6 Full Time Fashion Management course and a Part-Time Fashion Buying & Merchandising – 3 Module Booking Package (September ’21) which can be delivered online anywhere in the world.

These courses are suitable for people who are new to working in retail or fashion and want to climb the business ladder, those who have many years of retail or fashion experience who want to get into the business side or those just out of school who want to gain the foundations to create their career in fashion.  

If you want more information about these courses, contact our admissions expert George Boylan on george.boylan@portobelloinstitute.com or call him on 01 892 0041. 

See @fashionportobello on Instagram for more.  

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