Here’s a life lesson for you: Know what you’re good at. Artist-designer Michael Carney knew he couldn’t play the guitar, so in November 2017 he founded his own brand, Central High. But Carney is no up-and-comer. When he’s not working on Central High, he’s designing graphics for Marc Jacobs.

Central High is a graphic-driven brand heavily informed by Carney’s fascination with American counterculture of the past, present, and future. For Fall/Winter 2018, Carney designed tees and a corduroy hat inspired by the psychedelic underground of the mid-to-late 20th century and the students, dropouts, and radicalized youth who influenced the movement. “Central High is built around this idea of a high school that exists outside of time,” says Carney. “The themes [of each collection] are inspired by specific people and things within this imaginary school and the surrounding community.” In less than a year, the brand has been picked up by Opening Ceremony, A Ma Maniere, August, and Nous, the Paris boutique founded by ex-Colette staffers. ​​​​​​​