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Elliot Dugan was born in South Dakota in November, 1980. He acquired his nickname Mack from his father before he was born, and was moved to Wellington, New Zealand, shortly thereafter where he was raised. He learned to sew at age 12, and from that point on has had his hands in diverse projects. After winning a high school fashion competition, he left Wellington to study Textile and clothing at a trade school in Berlin. In 1999, he returned to complete his formal fashion training at Massey University Wellington. Dugan worked for independent designer, Natlija Kuchija in Auckland, NZ, where he had the opportunity to work with production, cutting patterns and sewing, gaining experience and perspective and leading to his first namesake pieces. The Mack Dugan brand debuted at seminal Auckland boutique "Rip Shit & Bust".