Studio Visit: Dusen Dusen

We are kicking off this new year with the first of our interviews of designers, by designers.

One of our favorite things about the shop is the conversations we get have with so many talented, fascinating and hilarious people. It occurred to us that asking some of the designers we carry to interview another one of our designers-- and mixing mediums-- might reveal a unique view into their worlds.

We asked Alex and Drew, of Alex Drew and No One to come up with 7 questions for Ellen Van Dusen of Dusen Dusen. And we're working hard to get Ellen's last trend forecast of 2016 off the ground.  It starts with an idea, people.

Alex Drew & No One: As an artist & designer, how important is a routine to you? What does yours look like?

Ellen Van Dusen: It have always been a person that needs to stick to a schedule to get things done. I have a pretty standard workday, around 9:30-6:30, sometimes working at home when I get back from my studio. I get a coffee every morning at the coffee shop across the street from my studio, and I get through the day with frequent visits to the candy bowl on the other side of the room. 

AD&NO: What does inspiration look like when it visits you? Do you find it doing a process or in a flash?

EVD: It happens both ways. I find inspiration in a lot of different things but one thing that consistently inspires me is contemporary art. Sometimes it'll be quality of line, a color or it'll just make me think about something differently. In the beginning of designing a collection it feels like it happens in a flash, but towards the end after seeing how much has changed, it is clearly a process.

AD&NO: From what you've learned on the creative side of your business, what advice would you have given yourself 5 years ago? 

EVD: Follow your instincts always, don't let anyone throw you off. 

AD&NO: On your walk to work in the dead of winter, does your mind drift to a tropical happy place?

EVD: Yes! Every year I take a trip to Mexico with my best friend from high school. She lives in Texas so the weather isn't as big of an issue for her, but we schedule it towards the end of New York winter, which usually creeps into of April. Thinking about this trip is what gets me through, I daydream about it all the time. 

AD&NO: You have a band following you around for one month, providing a soundtrack to your professional and personal life. Who are they? 

EVD: If it's THIS month, I would choose Die Doraus & Die Marinas. My brother just sent me one of their albums (Blumen and Narzissen) and it is SO GOOD! I have been listening to it on repeat. If it's every month forever, I'd have to go with my all time favorite band, Weezer.

AD&NO: We often discuss our work in the context of a movie set, how do you visualize your designs in the world?

EVD: I love the idea of people living in things I've made. In pictures usually everything is very put together and neat, but in the real world I hope my stuff lives amongst clutter and mess, with clothes on the floor and a dog curled up in it.

AD&NO: If you could create 3 absurd new trends in 2016, what would they be? 


1. Four day work week.

2. House exteriors in colors in NYC- how come SF gets to live this way and we don't! I want to live in a yellow house.

3. Pets for pets- I want my dog to have her own pig, so I could walk her and she could walk the pig.

All images shot by the luminous Skye Parrott of Double or Nothing for Wilder.

Check out both Alex Drew & No One (as well as Drew's other project Memphis Space Program) and Dusen Dusen in our online shop!