Clothed in Creation with Lauryn Parks

Lauryn Parks is a Pittsburgh-based nonbinary model, painter, and fashion creative with an exuberant personality and magnetic energy. They express their identity passionately through clothing and style — storytelling through each hand-selected piece. 

Black person with short hair, black ribbed T-shirt, and silver necklace stares into the camera
Lauryn Parks // Photo by Dasi (@hildahs_child)

When meeting Lauryn, you will be reminded that fashion is an art. Her style is distinct and reflective of individuality. She utilizes artistic elements of shapes, colors, and textures to transform an outfit, every assembled garment exposing an aspect of her creative process. While Pittsburgh is not known as a fashion city and is often lacking in opportunities for such artists, Lauryn's work is evident that there are creatives bringing change to the conversation. 


Lauryn has also expanded her creative talents into a sustainable fashion business, Bad Bitch Thriftin’, sourcing and reselling vintage and thrifted clothing and accessories. They aim to provide their community with the opportunity to revive their wardrobes with collections that assert character. 


We asked Lauryn to share insight into their artistry. (This interview has been condensed for space and clarity.)


What inspires you to create?

I’m honestly driven by the psychology of “Look good, feel good,” and I practice and challenge that ideology for myself even on some of my worst days and want to encourage others to do the same for themselves. I want to offer them clothing that will make them feel good about themselves internally and externally!


Black person with short hair, red sunglasses, large silver hoop earrings, silver necklaces, and a colorful striped long sleeved shirt
Lauryn Parks // Photo by Dasi (@hildahs_child)

Are there consistent themes that influence your work?

Personally, I’ve always been influenced by colors and patterns. I view clothing as a form of expression to the extent it is essentially wearable art. The boldness of vibrant colors and black and white, combined with patterns, have always made me feel something deep within me that is truly indescribable but have inspired me in a variety of ways to create paintings based off the clothing I find as well as create bold, striking outfits for myself to enjoy.


How do you know when a work is finished?

I know when a piece is “complete” for me when I feel I don’t have anything else to contribute to it or simply when I feel satisfied with the work I’ve done. I will call it finished but truthfully, even with those answers, most of my work is always in a state of “to be continued, altered or could add more but I am content with what I’ve done.”  Being content with my work, whether it be an outfit or painting, will allow me to stop and say this is complete for now, but I am always open and willing to add more or even recreate if feeling inspired to do so.


How has your style evolved over time?

My style has evolved immensely since I was able to work and afford my own things. I’ve never been one to be on trend which at one point in time was very hard for me during school, but then I made sure to reframe that mindset and am very happy I never was dressed like anyone else. Also I used to avoid colors, as much as I liked them, I didn’t want to bring too much attention to myself. My first job being a resale clothing store helped me find my own sense of style that I got to perfect throughout my years working there. I came from regular ol’ jeans, a T- shirt, and hoodie to unique eclectic garments that truly express me!

"I view clothing as a form of expression to the extent it is essentially wearable art."

What would a world without art look like?

Boring wouldn’t even begin to describe a life without art. I think we would have this feeling of emptiness all around the world without art, but we wouldn’t even know what was missing. Buildings, clothing, signs, even nature are all forms of art, how could we exist without them. If all art suddenly ceased to exist, not to be dramatic but I might not survive!


How do you believe the Pittsburgh art community can encourage and support your career growth?

I believe being connected with the art community can really help expand my business primarily through word of mouth, by getting people interested in sources of sustainable fashion. Being able to let people know the many things I do and learning what they do, allows us to collaborate on ideas that may unite groups of people is an amazing way to facilitate growth for my career.

Follow Lauryn on social media at


Artist Profile