Junk Kouture is excited to announce the outstanding lineup of judges for the NYC competition, with Dr. Ben Barry and Designer Nicole McLaughlin joining Emma McKee (The Stitch Gawd) as New York City judges.
Dr. Ben Barry is Dean of Fashion and Associate Professor of Equity and Inclusion at Parsons School of Design in New York. As a fashion educator, designer and researcher, he is devoted to disrupting the fashion system to shift power and design a future where worldviews and bodies that are currently stigmatized and excluded are instead valued and desired.
Speaking on the announcement, he said: “Junk Kouture not only opens up access and pathways to fashion for young people, many of whom otherwise would face barriers to training, networks and careers in the field, but it supports them to imagine and design new fashion systems grounded in community, inclusion and environmental justice.
“Young designers are celebrated and gain recognition on a global platform. Junk Kouture participants are creating the industry and world that we need.”
Nicole McLaughlin is a multidisciplinary designer based in New York City. Since 2018, she has explored self-initiated and collaborative efforts alike. By transforming discarded miscellanea into objects with new, imaginative and often unexpected utility, she shows how a circular approach to design and manufacturing can help reframe waste as an opportunity.
Nicole said: “Junk Kouture is an entry point for many young adults about to embark on a journey filled with obstacles and triumphs, putting sustainability at the forefront of design, and challenging them to create more intelligently. Through the practice of making, they also provide teens with the information and skills required to make the right choices.
“Waste is increasingly a global crisis, and although individuals are not solely responsible for solving this issue, bringing like-minded people together is a crucial step in making progress.”
Nicole and Ben will be joining the already announced technical judge Emma McKee. These three judges complete Junk Kouture’s technical judging panel with their expertise in the world of fashion design.