Von Teese was born in Rochester, Michigan, the second of three daughters. Her father was a machinist and her mother a manicurist. She is of English, Scottish, Armenian, and German heritage. Dita has stated that one of her grandmothers was half-Armenian and adopted into an Anglo-Saxon American family. Von Teese is known for her fascination with 1940s cinema and classic vintage style. This began at a young age and was fostered by her mother, who would buy clothes for her daughter to dress up. Her mother was a fan of old, Golden Age-era Hollywood films, and from her Von Teese developed a fascination with the actresses of that day, especially Betty Grable.