Lauren Kovin, Clothing Designer

Lauren Kovin had one of those creatively privileged childhoods we all dream about: Her father was a graphic designer, her mother an interior designer who stocked their New Hope, Pennsylvania, home with Memphis furniture and modern art. Kovin spent more time in galleries than in shopping malls; an Avedon portrait of a nude Nastassja Kinski hung over the family’s dining room table. Heaven, right? Wrong. “I grew up in suburbia, and it was so embarrassing,” Kovin says. “My mom would come to pick me up from elementary school wearing a Comme Des Garçons poncho and rubber booties. To a six year old whose friends all shopped at Sears, my mom was a freak show.”

Lucky for her, adolescence tends to suck anyway, and we reap its benefits much later: Because Kovin faced her fears of being different early on, by the time she went to Parsons to study fashion, she felt so free to experiment that her professors thought she was “a total weirdo” for basing pieces on John Cage compositions and photocopied Silly Putty. By the time she started her eponymous line in 2008, she had figured out how to skillfully incorporate the inspirations of her childhood (some of which are pictured among the eight here) into her work, earning her a reputation as an up-and-coming new voice in fashion. Oak bought up her first eight-piece collection — and so did her mom, whose closet in turn has become one of Kovin’s greatest resources. But you can’t tell that to a six-year-old.

Lauren Kovin’s clothes are currently for sale at the Areaware Stop Shop at New York’s Port Authority, which runs through January 2. Click here for more information.