Dean & Dan Caten
This stylish twin set gives a whole new sartorial spin to the phrase "family business". Canada's most famous fashion design duo came a long way to get to the runways of Milan all the way from Willowdale, Ontario, to be exact.
Dan Caten and Dean Caten the brothers behind international clothing label DSquared2 made their way to the Big Apple in 1983 to attend its legendary Parsons School of Design. After working for various design houses including Ports International, Versace and Diesel, they debuted their men's collection in 1994 and launched a women's collection in 2003.
"Oh Canada! Thank you!" was their first reaction upon hearing they received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame. Not that these boys are unaccustomed to stars. Their sexy, look-at-me clothing has often been a favourite of music celebrities including Lenny Kravitz, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears all of whom are both their customers and creative muses. The twins are known for their extravagant, theatrical runway shows and they're always excited to have a singing star on the catwalk. A menswear show once ended with Christina Aguilera in a leather dress, while a 2007 women's wear show starred Rihanna being driven onto the stage in a muscle car, which she followed up by strutting down the runway.
But it was all thanks to a chance encounter with the biggest female music star of them all Madonna, of course that the twins were able to leave an indelible mark on the world of international show business. The Material Girl commissioned them to design one hundred and fifty outfits for herself and her dancers for the "Don't Tell Me" video and her 2002 Drowned World Tour. A smashing success, the Caten's love of music, theatrics and fashion was further cemented when they launched their women's collection.
The runway show featured supermodels Naomi Campbell, Eva Herzigova, Karolina Kurkova and Fernanda Tavares as rock stars disembarking from a candy-pink private jet. The twins had definitely arrived, and their clothes were all carry-on, baby. The following day the prestigious trade publication Women's Wear Daily 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 complement to our signature men's look."
The DSquared2 lifestyle is expressed in the ad campaigns for which the Caten twins have partnered with some of the most well-known fashion photographers in the world. Initially, their ad image was managed by Steven Klein, the man behind the shots for some of the most original and innovative ad campaigns in the last few years. More recently, the DSquared2 image has evolved in a more sophisticated direction, employing shots of Gisele Bündchen by Mert & Marcus for the autumn/ winter 2005/2006 campaign, as well as having Mikael Jansson shoot super-sexy cowgirl Carmen Kaas for their spring/summer 2006 collection. Since spring/summer 2007, Dan and Dean have been collaborating with Steven Meisel. In this year's spring/summer campaign, he portrays a trial battle between two magnificent fighting women, the iconic top-models of the nineties: Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista.
The DSquared2 line also includes footwear, male and female fragrances (you may call them He Wood and She Wood respectively), and eyewear because really, what's a rock star without fabulous sunglasses?
Today, the Caten twins may divide their life and work between Milan and London"Born in Canada, living in London, made in Italy" is their motto but in their hearts, they're still all Canadian.
"The best thing about receiving a star is the sheer pride of knowing that we are becoming a part of our home and native land, and long after we will be gone, our star will shine forever!" - Dan and Dean Caten, on their star on Canada's Walk of Fame