After 22 years in business, the Canadian twins have successfully set their own Italian fashion empire named Dsquared2.
Svelte, with chiseled features, salt and pepper hair and smiles that reveal glistening white teeth, Dean and Dan grew up the youngest of nine siblings in Willowdale, Toronto. In 1984 they moved to New York to study fashion at Parsons The New School for Design.
After a semester-long stint studying fashion at Parsons in New York, the brothers got their first real break when they joined Ports 1961 (then called Ports International) as co-creative directors. “It’s always, always better to work for someone else and to learn,” said Dan. “My boss used to always say, make your mistakes on my money. Because then when you’re ready, you’ve already made the mistakes you need to.”
In the early 90s, the Canadian duo moved to Italy with their sights set on creating their brand. After collaborating with some of Italy’s most celebrated fashion houses, in 1995 the designers presented their first men’s collection under the label Dsquared2. The presentation marked the debut of Dsquared2’s runway show extravaganzas, which captured the attention of journalists and buyers from around the world.
Dsquared2’s philosophy is an edgy mix of Canadian iconography, refined Italian tailoring and playful sensuality. The collections are a seamless melding of contrasts: sporty and glamorous, laidback and extravagant, masculine and feminine, creating a distinctive concept of alternative luxury. Recently the Dsquared2 collections have gained a sophisticated edge while maintaining the sexiness embedded in the brand’s DNA. Dean and Dan Caten divide their lives between Milan and London, and the Dsquared2 collections are produced in Italy, giving rise to the brand’s motto of “Born in Canada, Living in London, Made in Italy”. Today, the Dsquared2 business turns over €210 million per year and has expanded from its origins in menswear into womenswear, accessories, childrenswear, eyewear and fragrances, as well as Ceresio 7, a restaurant in Milan.
Right after the very first success in 1995, a series of early high profile collaborations with music stars including Madonna and Christina Aguilera propelled the label into the global mainstream. “We really, really appreciate the energy and support that we’ve got from the celebrities that we’ve worked with,” said Dan.
The union of fashion and music is unbreakable for Dsquared2. Since the very beginning, Dsquared2 has always attracted a following among international celebrities: Lenny Kravitz, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin, Nelly Furtado, Simon Webbe, and Robbie Williams are all devotees of the brand.
But it is thanks to a lucky encounter with Madonna that the Caten twins were able to leave an indelible mark on the world of international show business. They were commissioned to design 150 outfits both for the artist and her dancers for the video “Don’t Tell Me” and for the 2002 Drowned World Tour. Significant partnerships with the music world continued the following year including the collaboration with Rihanna, Britney Spears, Fergie, Michael Bublé, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Nick Jonas,…
Not only active in the field of music, Dean & Dan Caten also won lots of fame when deciding sponsor famous world’s sports icons. Juventus FC, Barcelona FC and Manchester City FC had worked with DSquared2 for their official ‘off-field’ uniforms. The Canadian Duo designed the outfit for Team Canada for the Opening Ceremonies at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio. At the beginning of 2017 Dean and Dan announced a collaboration with basketball player Dwyane Wade on a menswear capsule collection to be sold exclusively at Saks Fith Avenue department stores in New York.
“We see Vietnam as the next natural entry point in Asia after China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Macau. We are proud to have a retail presence here, in a market where consumers that care about international fashion are constantly increasing and we believe this store represents a new chapter and an energetic retail future in Asia for our brand!” said Dean and Dan Caten.
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