#92: Ellen Van Dusen (Dusen Dusen)

Ellen Van Dusen on Themed Playlists, Axolotls, The Color Teal, and more.

Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked cool person Ellen Van Dusen to come on Perfectly Imperfect & redistribute her good taste.

Ellen Van Dusen is the Brooklyn-based designer and founder of Dusen Dusen, a home goods and clothing brand best known for it’s bold, fun, and geometric patterns. You can find Ellen’s maximalist designs on everything from tissue boxes to towels, and even on your TV like when Harry Styles wore a Dusen Dusen smiley face sweater on SNL while pretending to be a dog or Hannah’s dress in HBO’s Girls. Van Dusen also does lots of rad collaborations such as the colorful “Cleo Chair” she made with Dims (that has a waitlist open!) and the t-shirts she made for Uniqlo. Ellen clearly has great taste and lucky for us, she’s here to talk about what she’s been into.

Without further ado

Ellen Van Dusen (instagram)

🥛 Vintage Kosta Boda

i know almost nothing about this company except that it's a great ebay search if you're looking for glass stuff. they make a pitcher that looks like a duck, and i'm obsessed. i bought one for myself, decided i loved it so much that i wanted to get another to sell in my shop. when i got the second one, it was totally different from the first (smaller eye, different shape for the beak, etc). the third one was even more diff. what a joy to have a family of duck pitchers that all have a different personality and look !! this is a dangerous game but i'm addicted and i can't stop.

🎵 Themed Playlists

i have gotten into making playlists on a really specific theme-- the mooncolors, 'yes', 'no', songs about other musiciansflowershomonyms... making one that actually flows well instead of a bunch of randoms next to each other is the real challenge. you end up thinking about songs you forgot about that you love. whenever i'm out and i hear something that fits one of my themes, i throw it on the list and evaluate where it lands into the sequence later. my dad has been doing this forever with a group of friends, and now i'm carrying the torch (he is still carrying the same torch).

🌞 🦳 Sun In

 i've been dying my hair with sun in since 2015. it's a chemical spray that bleaches your hair when exposed to heat. it was really popular in the '90s and '00s which is when I first used it as a 9th grader. the branding today looks exactly the same as it did back then, it's possible that i'm just buying their deadstock. my biggest thrill is when a random person compliments my hair, and then i get to tell them it's the way it is because i use a spray for teens. i'm really committed to the process so if you're hanging out with me outside, i'm gonna ask you to spray the back of my head.

🐠 Axolotls

i walked into a pet store in chinatown recently and in the back of the shop they had a smiling pink fish with legs in a tank. i thought i had come across some freaky experiment but when i was talking about it with someone he was like, axolotls !!! i was delighted and intrigued, and i've been contemplating getting one ever since. i feel like it would be a great studio pet.

🎨 Teal

everything i like right now is teal. don't ask me why !!

Follow Dusen Dusen on Instagram and check out their website.

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