Ellen Van Dusen founded her Brooklyn-based fashion label Dusen Dusen—know for its graphic, colorful patterns—in 2010, and over the last five years the label has garnered quite a cult following (fans include SNL star Aidy Bryant). This month, she applies her original designs to the home with the introduction of her first interiors collection.
The range includes bedding ($38–$160), towels ($38), poufs ($180), throw blankets ($180) and throw pillows ($52)—all done in Dusen Dusen’s signature style. “I am mostly excited about the bedding,” says Dusen, “I have been looking for fun sheets for a really long time and they are really hard to find, which was part of the reason I started the home line in the first place.”
We caught up with the designer to get the inside scoop on her new collection and find out how Aidy Bryant ended up being the face of Dusen Dusen home decor.
Describe your style in three words.
“Fun, colorful, comfortable.”
After starting with fashion, why did you decide to venture into home decor?
“My favorite thing about making the clothes is designing the prints, so moving to home goods felt like the logical next step. I love that the scale is so much larger, and that the print is mostly uninterrupted by seams. It’s also kind of refreshing to not think about fit—the sizes I’m working with are standard, so it takes out a whole step of the process.”
Where does your design inspiration come from?
“I take inspiration from different places, and sometimes I don’t realize it’s happening. Consciously though, I look at a lot of contemporary art. One of my favorite things to do is to spend a day walking around different galleries in Chelsea and the Lower East Side just to browse and see what’s happening out there in the art world.”
How did you develop your design aesthetic?
“I was born with it! My parents are both architects, and I think I got my sense of geometry and balance from them. Growing up, my house was very colorful and I have always been drawn to color. While designing my bedding collection, I talked to a lot of people about the sheets they grew up with and what they have now, and for the first time I realized it was unusual that I have never slept in white sheets. Color and pattern have always been a big part of the spaces I have lived in!”
What is your relationship with Aidy Bryant, and how did she get involved with the shoot for your new home collection?
“I am a mega-fan! She is so hilarious and cute, and I thought she would be the perfect fit for the shoot. I was trying to figure out how to get in touch with her, and then she happened to comment on one of my Instagram photos! I was shocked that she knew I existed, and I ended up reaching out to her through Instagram. The rest is history!”
Okay, now a few fun ones: If you could live in another decade, which one would you choose?
“The ’60s! I love the whole ’60s aesthetic—the colors, the graphic shapes, everything.”
Fill in the blank: If I found out that ______ owned a piece of my work, I would just die.
“Chan Marshall of Cat Power! I was a mega-fan of Cat Power in high school and she’s a total style icon of mine.”
What is your most treasured possession?
“My dog! Does that count? She’s my little companion. She’s named Snips after these tiny little scissors used to cut threads, my favorite tool!”