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Livi Wins Junior Designer of the Year at Junk Kouture World Final

From over 1,600 initial entries, spanning 20 different nationalities and 6 continents, Bethany School’s Livi and her sister Clem brought home the Junior Designer of the Year Award from the Junk Kouture Global Final in Monaco on Thursday 22nd February.

Junk Kouture is the world’s largest youth sustainable fashion competition and Livi and Clem’s Junk Kouture journey began back in November 2022 when they first started discussing ideas for what they would like to create for their entry. The girls then settled on the idea of their design that would go on to be titled ‘Wishing on a Ribbon’.

On coming up with their design, Livi said, “The children of Wadhurst Primary School were asked to write their Christmas wishes in December. Each child wrote their wish on a piece of ribbon, which was then tied onto the huge village Christmas tree, there were 283 wishes in total. The ribbon wishes were going into landfill, so we rescued them. Maybe that way, they will come true. Our theme is the precious nature of a child’s dream.”

Some examples of the ribbon wishes were:

  • ‘I wish I didn’t have fits’ – Imogen, 6
  • ‘I wish that everybay it wuld rain swities and choclet’ – James, 5
  • ‘I wish for my grampa to be able to walk again’ – Amber, 8
  • ‘I wish for a soshge dog’ – Teddy, 5
  • ‘I wish for a henry hoover so I can hoover up my mummy’ – Reggie, 3

The girls drafted plans for what other materials to use for their design, and after a few tweaks settled on a final plan. The Wishing on a Ribbon dress was made from ribbons, old bedsheets and wool. The boots were made from an old pair of boots covered in charity shop DVDs, which were broken up and placed on individually, piece by piece.

After perfecting their design Livi and Clem, along with three other entries from Bethany School, were then successful in reaching the UK London Final in May 2023, with the aim of qualifying for the World Final.

The London City Final saw finalists from post-primary schools across the UK battle it out as they modelled haute-couture designs made entirely from recycled materials. The top 10 designs from the London City Final were then selected by a judging panel for the World Final, where they would compete with 50 other designs from Abu Dhabi, London, Paris, Milan and New York City.

‘Wishing on a Ribbon’ wowed judges in the London Final and so it was off to Monaco for the girls where they would compete in the World Final.

Upon arriving in Monaco, all of the world finalist teams and educators met for an immersive session to discuss and share ideas around innovation and circularity. There was then time to relax and take in parts of Monaco before getting ready for the World Final dress rehearsal.

The World Final itself could not have gone better for the girls as their design ‘blew the judges away’ and Livi and Clem were noted as being a pair of designers to definitely keep an eye out for in the future as they scooped the Young Designer of the Year award.

WATCH VIDEO: The winning moment for Livi and Clem



Upon returning back to the UK and the normality of school life, Livi said, “I still can’t believe that we won Young Designer of the Year, it all feels so surreal. I have to thank Mrs Smart in the Bethany Art Department for helping us and bringing our ideas to life. I also would like to thank my family for all their support and travelling to Monaco with me. Of course, I also couldn’t have done this without my brilliant sister, Clem!”

First up as a 2023 winner, Livi and Clem will travel to the Southbank Centre in London at the end of March to make an appearance at the World Happiness Summit and showcase Wishing on a Ribbon in a fashion show.

From everyone at Bethany School, congratulations Livi and Clem, thoroughly deserved!