Kem Cetinay has gone into business with Primark signing a seven-figure deal to front grooming range


Kem Cetinay has gone into business with Primark – signing a huge seven-figure deal to front his own grooming range.

The restaurant owner, 25, who opened Essex eatery Array this summer, is launching men’s beauty collection Kem Cuts with the retailer, which he says has been his biggest achievement since winning Love Island in 2017.

In an exclusive interview with MailOnline, Kem admitted he wanted to reinvent himself after finding fame on the ITV dating show – and is keen to launch even more business ventures after thriving off the pressure. 

'It's a huge step for me': Kem Cetinay has gone into business with Primark – signing a huge seven-figure deal to front his own grooming range

‘It’s a huge step for me’: Kem Cetinay has gone into business with Primark – signing a huge seven-figure deal to front his own grooming range 

Kem said: ‘A lot of my projects in the past have been collaborations but this is the first time I’ve gone into business with a company.

‘It takes a lot more time, discussions, and pressure because you’re a partner in what you’re doing. It is quite scary because you’re dealing with a huge corporate company. It’s a huge step for me.

‘I have been working with Primark for three years now and Kem Cuts is something I have been trying to build up since I left Love Island.

‘Sometimes I take a step back and I think who am I, what am I talented at? Barbering is something I have always been good at.’

'Overwhelmed': Kem, who opened Essex eatery Array this summer, is launching Kem Cuts with the retailer, which he says has been his biggest achievement since winning Love Island

‘Overwhelmed’: Kem, who opened Essex eatery Array this summer, is launching Kem Cuts with the retailer, which he says has been his biggest achievement since winning Love Island 

Kem has been an ambassador for Primark for three years, with his clothing collections selling out across stores nationwide. 

But now the MasterChef star, who worked as a barber before finding fame, is putting his hairdressing knowledge to good use.

He explained: ‘I had a conversation with Primark, and I was like this is what I want to do before I take it anywhere else would you be interested, and suddenly it started moving forward.

‘Now we have an entire collection, everything from hairdryers, to clippers, to CBD and skincare, we’re even going to do makeup down the line, it is an entire male grooming range for an affordable price.

Duo: Love Island winners Kem and Amber Gill fronted wellbeing series The Full Treatment on ITV2 where the duo interviewed celebrities such as Jamie Laing about their mental health

Duo: Love Island winners Kem and Amber Gill fronted wellbeing series The Full Treatment on ITV2 where the duo interviewed celebrities such as Jamie Laing about their mental health

‘I’m overwhelmed by the whole situation because it was my dream when I came out of Love Island to be able to do this.

‘The first collection comes out this week, which is Christmas sets I put together of essentials, so it has aftershave, hairdryers, clippers and now a lot more people are doing their own hair coming out of lockdown.

‘It is the project I have spent so much time on, the restaurant took a long time, but I’ve been going over this with a fine-tooth comb.’ 

Kem, who won the £50,000 cash prize on Love Island with ex-girlfriend Amber Davies, says he’s pursued business ventures outside of his comfort zone in the hope he’ll be remembered as more than someone from a reality show. 

He’s already established himself as a TV presenter, after working for Dancing On Ice as the show’s backstage reporter, as well as fronting ITV2 wellbeing series The Full Treatment, where he cut hair while opening the conversation about mental health with a host of celebrities. 

'I can do other things': Kem says he's pursued business ventures outside of his comfort zone in the hope he'll be remembered as more than someone from a reality show (pictured in 2017)

‘I can do other things’: Kem says he’s pursued business ventures outside of his comfort zone in the hope he’ll be remembered as more than someone from a reality show (pictured in 2017)

Kem explained: ‘When you come off a TV show like Love Island everyone’s talking about you for the year, but things change and for me, I always wanted to prepare for that because I didn’t know how I would deal with it.

‘Thank God everything is still going well but I started the businesses because I wanted something else to concentrate on. I wanted to be Kem and not just Kem from Love Island.

‘I feel grateful to Love Island because it’s what made me, but I want to be able to prove to myself that I can do other things and push myself harder. I had just turned 21 when I left Love Island, so I have grown up a lot in four years.’

Unlike many of his peers, Kem says he resists splashing his newfound earnings on materialistic possessions. Indeed, the TV star claims he’s still not used to having big figures in the bank after coming from a modest family.

Achievement: Kem's Christmas sets are available in Primark this week, while the full range of Kem Cuts launches in early 2022

Achievement: Kem’s Christmas sets are available in Primark this week, while the full range of Kem Cuts launches in early 2022

He said: ‘It takes a lot of getting used to. I don’t come from a huge amount of wealth and luckily my family have kept me really grounded since I am out of Love Island. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a weird transition.

‘It is amazing and I’m grateful, but it is quite daunting and scary, and I haven’t shied away from big risks like launching the restaurant in the middle of lockdown, it was a huge risk, at times my family were like what on earth are you doing?

‘I don’t know why I’m like this but whenever I sign a big deal I find it really, really overwhelming and most of the time I just invite my friends over and we just chill.

‘People say I should go out, but I need time to digest it all. I’m not someone that splashes money, I just chill out, I’m not a massive party animal.

‘I just bought a new house I’ll be moving into in the next two weeks. I am open to launching more businesses and once the restaurant is settled, I want to do more things. I just want to carry on pushing myself. My family tell me not to, but I love the pressure, it keeps me going.’

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