A Q&A with Dusen Dusen's Founder: Ellen Van Dusen

dusen dusen founder ellen van dusen sitting on sofa in her home with arlo skye x dusen dusen weekender featured sitting on coffee table in front of her

Dusen Dusen has captured the hearts of fashion lovers worldwide with its vibrant prints, playful designs, and commitment to ethical production. In this Q&A, we delve into the mind of the brand's founder, Ellen Van Dusen, to uncover the inspiration behind her creations, her favorite local spots and what she's currently excited about.

What's your morning routine? 

I wake up, let my dog out, shower and mentally brace myself for the day, dressing accordingly. I have coffee with my husband in our kitchen, and we chat about what dumb memes we saw, the news, plans for the evening... all that day to day stuff. I head out to my studio around 9.

What inspired the prints of this season's collections?

ellen van dusen on couch on left and salt and pepper shakers on rightDusen Dusen products available on dusendusen.com

I was inspired by the outdoors, the colors, shapes and patterns in the world around us.

Which piece from the Arlo Skye X Dusen Dusen collection do you use the most? 

arlo skye dusen dusen soft luggage set of backpack, dopp kit, weekenderArlo Skye X Dusen Dusen Soft Luggage Collection

Before I knew the joys of the weekender, I would use my carry on every time I traveled. Now I switch off between the 2! I love that the weekender is sized so that it can fit under the seat in front of you, making getting on the plane less stressful (I hate it when I have to check my bag unexpectedly). For a trip where I need more stuff, I use the carry on! It's such a smart design, everything stays secure when opening and closing, and it's super easy to roll around. Now I'm also a dopp kit convert! It's a great size, and has extra pockets I never knew I needed. Plus it's cute.

Five essentials always packed in your weekender.

the weekender front viewThe Arlo Skye X Dusen Dusen Weekender

Socks, underwear, laptop + charger, toothbrush, a dress you can wear over and over again.

Favorite place you’ve visited in the past year.

Little Saint Simons island. I went here for a quick honeymoon after my wedding. It's a privately owned island off the coast of Georgia, which has been pretty untouched by human development. It has an amazing array of animals and birds to see, and you get around mostly by bike. It feels like another world.

You live in Brooklyn. Your studio is in Brooklyn. What are your go-to spots for dining, coffee and inspo? 

My fave spot for coffee is Rita and Maria in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. It has a really nice neighborhood vibe, and the pastries are excellent. For dinner I love Win Son and Saraghina. I don't have too many exciting lunches but I am just a big pizza fan, and a real treat for me is Rubirosa.

Best life advice you've gotten?  

Be yourself!

Name one thing you're excited about right now.

I'm super excited about a house I've been renovating with my brothers upstate. It's been a really fun collaborative project and we're in the final stages. It's very rewarding to see it all come together!

If you owned a massive billboard overlooking the East River, what would it say?

It would be a big picture of my dog, declaring she's the best that's ever lived.

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