DSquared2: Doubly Talented
DSquared2 is a brand created by two Canadian brothers, the identical twins Dean and Dan Caten. Sharing a passion for fashion, these brothers started small with a line of womenswear, but have since moved on to Italy, where their own brand was created, starting in 1994 with a men’s collection, then moving on to women’s collection and men’s underwear in 2003.
As the youngest out of nine children, twin brothers Dean and Dan Catenacci had a number of ready-made test subjects when they found they had a talent for designing clothing. Their first work, when they were still children was to design outfits for their sisters. They were born in Toronto and moved away to study at the Parson School to learn design, but only stayed there for a year before returning to Canada.
They were eager to get started on their own career. They found a financial backer in 1986 to fund their first line of women’s wear, which they called DEanDAN. Their work secured them a position with Ports International, operating as creative directors to update their fashions for modern people. The brothers also worked on Tabi International, Ports’ brand for casual, lower-priced clothing.
Sons of an Italian father, the pair moved to Milan in 1991 to work with the prestigious and popular design houses of Gianni Versace and Diesel. In time, Diesel offered the twins money to start their own brand and DSquared2 was born. Their debut in Milan, featuring a line of men’s clothing was a success, matching their refined Italian designs with the irreverent humor native to Canada.
Early in the 21st century, the brothers began to produce a women’s collection, funded by the success of their line of men’s clothing. Their very first offering in this areagot them on the front page of Women’s Wear Daily. Soon, they were producing accessories, footwear, and fragrances, as well.
DSquared2 in the Public Eye
Now known as the Caten brothers, the twins did everything they could to make not only their clothing and accessories spectacular, but their shows, as well. Their 2005 runway show had a memorable finish consisting of singer Christina Aguilera stripping the clothing from male models. One of their 2007 shows featured Rihanna driving onto the stage in a muscle car before taking a turn on the runway.
World famous celebrites from Ricky Martin to Nicolas Cage to Justin Timberlake to Madonna to Britney Spears to Lenny Kravitz have been seen wearing DSquared2 clothing. The brothers have even been known to design entire lines of clothing for concerts for both Madonna and Britney Spears.
DSquared2 broke new ground in 2007 with their first fragrance, He Wood. She Wood, the female version, followed closely in 2008.
He Wood is aromatic and woody, opening with violet and violet leaf. Vetiver and cedar comprise the heart, with finishing notes of musk, fir, and amber. The popularity of He Wood prompted the quick release of the companion fragrance for women, She Wood. It was built upon the same base as He Wood, but then was rearranged by adding more feminine notes. This unusual hybrid creates a scent as much unisex as feminine, for those women that like to wear men’s fragrances.
He Wood Silver Wind Wood is based off natural Canadian features, the birthplace of the brothers. This fragrance is meant to be the smell of the wind as it rushes through the high forests of Canada. The opening notes have a silvery tone – sage, incense, and lavender. Nutmeg and musk in the heart represent the wind. The woody base is the forest – amber, vanilla, cedar, and vetiver. This fragrance is just one entry in the Nature Always Wins collection.
DSquared2’s fragrances are just one facet of the endless creativity of these talented brothers. Their bold marketing plans and fresh designs have allowed them to spread far beyond their Milan headquarters, with stores in Greece, Turkey, France, Singapore, and Hong Kong, among other world locations. They even host a satellite radio program, with music from the brand’s runway shows, celebrity interviews, and discussions on both politics and fashion.
With the passage of time, DSquared2’s popularity only grows. While still holding to the creative core that made their names famous in the first place, the brothers have managed to mature over the years, adding layers of sophistication to their provocative designs. The brothers credit this growth to their mixed background as they move between Milan and London, continuing the work they love – “Born in Canada, living in London, made in Italy”.