In 1994, Dean and Dan Caten, identical twins, launched Dsquared2, a ready-to-wear fashion brand known for its glam-rock aesthetic. Born in Toronto, Ontario, the Caten brothers worked in the women’s wear field before moving to Milan in 1991. “We made the move because we wanted to create something different and distinctive to ourselves,” they explain.
Their men’s collection made its debut in 1994 and in 2003 was followed by a women’s collection and men’s underwear. The Dsquared2 product mix now also includes men’s and women’s footwear, fragrances and cosmetics and a new eyewear line under a licensing agreement signed with Marcolin Group in March 2008. The eyewear was launched with a 16-piece sunglass collection at MIDO in March 2009. An 18-style ophthalmic line is planned for early 2010.
Described as a mix of the American dream and refined Italian tailoring paired with personal attention to detail, Dsquared2 is sexy and often theatrical with an emphasis on lean, tailored jackets and outerwear, tight tees and low-cut trousers. The Catens’ designs have been worn by Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Ricky Martin, Nicolas Cage and Lenny Kravitz. In 2000-2001, Madonna commissioned the brothers to design more than 150 pieces for her “Drowned World Tour 2001” and “Don’t Tell Me” music video. The Catens have been featured on “America’s Next Top Model” and appeared in the music video for Fergie’s “Clumsy.” In 2003, they received the GQ Men of the Year Breakout Design Award; and in 2006, they won the Golden Needle Award.
In developing their line, the brothers say they design for themselves. “We are our own customers. We have an ideal of what we like and we translate it into our products. We believe in the philosophy—form follows function. There’s nothing superfluous in our designs—eyewear or clothes. Everything has to work. And we are not afraid of color. We like brights—red, purple, yellow.”
With the new eyewear line, the Catens felt it was imperative to make a statement, just as they do with their other collection. “Eyewear is so important. It’s all in the details and these details can really change the style of the wearer. We worked extensively on producing wearable shapes—with a nod to the ’70s,” they continue.
“We are extremely happy Marcolin decided to invest in our brand for its notoriety and also for its tremendous potential,” the designers emphasize. “We believe from a creative perspective Marcolin is able to distinctly diversify the brands in their portfolio and devote all the efforts necessary to support our very important entry into eyewear.”