Canadian twin brothers from Willowdale Ontario, Dean and Dan Caten have operated in the international fashion business since 1984. They moved to New York City in 1983 to attend the Parson’s School of Design and in 1991 came to Italy where in 1994, after many collaborations with the most important fashion houses, they had their first men’s collection show, marking the first in a long succession of runway extravaganzas that were to capture the attention of journalists and buyers for their perfect combination of fashion, music and theater.
The intelligent mix of irreverent Canadian wit and refined Italian tailoring, together with attention to detail are the foundation of today’s Dsquared2 philosophy, which has given life to a unique concept of alternative luxury. Recently, Dsquared2 collections have conquered a wider audience and, owing to their natural stylistic maturity, have become more chic and sophisticated while maintaining those sexy and provocative traits so embedded in their creative roots. This evolution is also due to the continuous international inspiration received by Dean and Dan, who, while dividing their life and work between Milan and London, create their collections in Italy: “Born in Canada, living in London, made in Italy”.
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.
The success of Dsquared2 with Madonna’s CD launched the Autumn-Winter 03/04 season with a full Dsquared2 Women’s Collection. Supermodels Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, Karolina Kurkova and Fernanda Tavares were featured as rock stars disembarking from a candy-pink private jet. The following day, the prestigious trade publication, WWD, featured Dsquared2 on its front cover and published a two-page interview, in which Dan said: “The Dsquared2 woman is self-assured, vibrant and sexy; the perfect compliment to our signature men’s look”.
Significant partnerships with the music world continued the following year. The undisputable pop queen Christina Aguilera who fell in love with the Dsquared2 style and the Caten twins designed a wardrobe for her and that of the dance team for the opening of her world tour, “Stripped World Tour 2003”. A genuine friendship was struck and Christina agreed to appear on the runway as Dsquared2‘s guest of honour at the Spring-Summer 2005 Menswear Show in Milan. Another significant partnership was with the Italian singer Laura Pausini, for whom they designed the outfits for her single appearance at San Siro Stadium as part of her World tour on the 3rd of June 2007, when the artist performed in front of 70.000 people.
On September 2007 19-year-old superstar Rihanna made her catwalk debut at the show of the SS08 women’s collection. The bombshell singer sashayed down the runway to the tunes of her hit song “Umbrella” in a revealing baby doll-style dress by the twin design duo.
Within the same period, pop star Fergie came out with her video “Clumsy”, where the twin designers are featured having fun accompanying Fergie down a fairytale catwalk during a mock fashion show.
The most recent achievement for Dean and Dan is their collaboration with Britney Spears, for which the designers created the stage costumes for “THE CIRCUS STARRING BRITNEY SPEARS” world tour, which began on March 3 2009 in New Orleans, LA.
The Circus Tour, Britney’s first arena tour in five years, features custom designed Dsquared2 costumes for Britney and her dancers for the first segment of the concert. Traditional circus characters such as trapeze artists, clowns, and jugglers, are given a reinterpreted aesthetic with provocative, sinister, and sensualised “sado” concepts.
On February 22 2010 the popular German rock band Tokio Hotel began their International tour, “Welcome to Humanoid City Tour”, for which the Caten twins have designed the stage costumes for the band and its lead singer, Bill Kaulitz. Kaulitz also debuted as a model during the latest Dsquared2 Men’s F/W 2010/2011 fashion show.
At the end of 2006, Dean and Dan Caten decided to exclusively create the new official uniforms for Turin's soccer club, Juventus – a partnership that is to last over the next four years. “It was a pleasure for us to work with such an important historic team as the “bianconera,” explained the Caten twins, “we were able to accompany the team back into Series A with elegance. Today, the world of football is a reality, even in fashion: the football players represent a new kind of beauty which is healthy and realistic but above all, attainable.”
The Caten twins are continuing their adventure in the world of football, branding for Fall-Winter 2009-10 the new “off field” uniforms of Barcelona Football Club, the most loved and recognized team around the globe (already winning five trophies in 2009, including the Champions League Title, the most prestigious football tournament in Europe).
With this new and important collaboration, Dsquared² has integrated itself into the world of First Division and the legendary Nou Field.
The new uniforms from the Canadian duo act as confirmation as one of the brands most highly respected in international football. Dsquared² is dressing the First Team, the Technical Staff and the Management.
At the end of 2009 they were also nominated HEADLINE TALENT COSTUME DESIGNERS for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
In addition to dressing headline talent, Dean and Dan will also have the honour to run with the Olympic torch.
The Dsquared2 lifestyle is most exquisitely expressed in the ad campaigns for which the Caten twins partnered with some of the most well-known fashion photographers in the world. For years the Dsquared2 ad image was managed by Steven Klein, who was behind the shots for some of the most original and innovative ad campaigns in the last few years such as FW02-03’s “Homeless”, SS03’s “Cottage Country”, FW03-04’s “Star-24-7”, SS04’s “Dean & Dan’s Dinner”, FW04-05’s “Great White North” and SS05’s “Bachelor’s Party”.
But the Dsquared2 image has since evolved in a more sophisticated direction, employing shots of Gisele Bündchen provided by Mert & Marcus for the Autumn-Winter 05/06 campaign as well as of super-sexy cowgirl Carmen Kass for the Spring-Summer 2006 Collection photographed by Mikael Jansson.
From Spring-Summer 2007 through Spring-Summer 2009 Dsquared2 cooperates with the famous photographer Steven Meisel who shot the advertising campaign both for the clothing and shoes collections and for the fragrances, He Wood and She Wood.
From Fall-Winter 2009-10 Dean and Dan chose to cooperate again with Mert Alas e Marcus Piggot.
In 2007 Dsquared2 had the inauguration of its 5400sq ft flagship store, which opened its doors in the heart of Milan's fashion district at No. 4 Via Verri. Dean and Dan Caten collaborated with Storage, a new Italian architecture studio who have worked with many important department stores around the world, for the concept of the store and also the headquarter in Milan on Via Tortona 27. The boutique evokes the 360-degree Dsquared2 lifestyle as envisioned by Dean and Dan: “A taste of home, where the Canadian woods meet Italian design”.
In September 2007, with the opening of the Dsquared2 flagship store on Via Verri, came the partnership with GH Mumm which brought an exclusive champagne bar to the new store. An innovative project which brings together lifestyle and fashion.
After the Milan flagship store Dsquared2 opened in 2008 mono-brand boutiques in Capri, Istanbul, Kiev and Hong Kong.
In 2009 Dsquared2 opened boutiques in Cannes, Dubai, Singapore and Kowloon (Hong Kong) while in 2010 in Athens, Thessaloniki, Monte-Carlo and Shanghai. Last opening in April 2011: Beijing. In the next few years 5 new flagship stores will be opened around the world: New York, Tokyo, Paris, London and Los Angeles. By the end of 2015, 15 boutiques will be opened in Asia.
In 2003, Dsquared2 received the “La Kore” award, considered the “Oscar” of the Italian fashion world, as the Most Original Designers.
Then in October of 2003 Dean and Dan Caten were named "Men of the Year" by GQ Magazine USA as the Best Breakthrough Design Team.
In 2006, competing among a slate of fashion designers renown for originality, Dean and Dan won the prestigious Spanish award “Aguja de Oro” (“Golden Needle”); for the occasion, the brothers designed an outfit that will remain on display at the Museo del Traje in Madrid.
On December 2007 Dean & Dan were the winners of the GQ Spanish Award “Man of the Year”.
The event at its seventh edition awarded Dsquared2 as “Best designers of the year”, due to “their ability to create casual looks while keeping the elegance and on the other hand to have renewed the elegance” affirmed the GQ director Javier Fernandez de Angulo.
On April 17 2008 the prestigious international organization Fashion Group International during the Night of Stars gala awarded Dean and Dan Caten together with other 4 characters of Canadian origin who distinguished themselves at international level for their contribution to fashion, beauty and design.
On November 13 of the same year Dean and Dan Caten were assigned the prestigious recognition of “Best Designer of the Year” winning the GQ Germany “Men of the year” award.
The designers have been awarded with a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame the Canada Honour for 2009. The official unveiling took place in Toronto on September 11 and 12 2009.