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5 Cool Facts About Designer Ellen Van Dusen

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Paper magazine has a profile with Brooklyn-based designer Ellen Van Dusen, whose line Dusen-Dusen is generating plenty of buzz. Here are a couple of cool things we learned about the 24-year-old designer:

1. She's obsessed with sharks.

Apparently Van Dusen's love of the animals is well-known to her friends and family. For her birthday, her boyfriend bought her a giant mouth of shark teeth which now hangs in her workspace.

2. She invented her own major.

At Tufts University in Boston, Van Dusen created her own major in "Psychology of Design."

3. She used to work in her college's costume shop.

As an undergrad, Van Dusen helped create costume for student theater productions, which honed her sewing and tailoring skills. "We sewed elaborate Victorian dresses," she says. "We sewed enormous zebra costumes and giant tutus."

4. She sews all her own samples by hand.

As Paper points out, Van Dusen is one of the designers who occupies a space that's too big for Etsy but too small for a team of employees. Although she's able to outsource some of her production, she still sews all of her samples every season. She makes the samples in her own size, since that's easier.

5. Her dog is seriously the cutest.

And the dog's name is Snips. We're dying.

· New Kid on the Block [Paper]
· Dusen Dusen [Official Site]