Dean Caten and Dan Caten

Dean Caten, Isabeli Fontana, and Dan Caten
(Photo: Ryan Emberley)

Born in 1964, Dean and Dan Catenacci were the youngest of nine children, growing up in the Willowdale neighborhood of Toronto. Finding an early love for fashion, the twin brothers began their careers by designing outfits for their older sisters.

In 1983, they moved to New York to study fashion at Parsons School of Design. By 1988 they were creative directors of the label Ports International (currently Ports 1961). Keen on pursuing a new fashion adventure in Italy, the pair moved to Milan in 1991. Thrust into the high-paced European fashion industry, in a scene dominated by famous Italian designers, the unknown twin brothers debuted a capsule men’s collection in 1995. The collection was a runway success and set the template for their brand Dsquared2.

Dan and Dean Caten’s vision for Dsquared2 broke the mold of a traditional luxury fashion brand. It reflected their personalities and lifestyle: fun, sexy, glamorous, and irreverent. Dsquared2 is accidentally chic and uncontrived cool. Today, the brand’s unique attitude is influenced by Dean and Dan’s life and work divided between Milan and London and mixed with their Canadian roots. Dsquared2’s creative vision is driven by Dan and Dean Caten’s motto, “Born in Canada, living in London, made in Italy.”

Since launching the first collection 20 years ago, Dsquared2 has expanded to include women’s, underwear, eyewear and kids’ collections. In the past two decades Dsquared2 has dressed the fashion mavericks of the music industry for tours and performances, including Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Rihanna.

Along the way Dan and Dean Caten have received numerous fashion awards and accolades. They were named official designers for the opening and closing ceremonies for the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. The duo received a star on Toronto’s Walk of Fame in 2009, and the Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) bestowed them with the Outstanding Achievement Award in 2014. The designers are also active supporters of the charities amfAR and Fashion Cares.

Though it’s been over 20 years since the brothers left Canada, their birthplace continues to be a rich inspiration and the DNA for Dsquared2. Honored to be Canadian, Dan and Dean Caten say their careers are a result of believing that anything is possible, and they hope to be an inspiration to young Canadians pursuing their dreams.