It hasn’t been the easiest path to success. The youngest of nine siblings, Dean and Dan grew up in Toronto in a small two-bedroom house, with very little. After a brief stint studying fashion at New York’s prestigious Parsons School for Design, they returned to their native Canada to learn on the job. The risk paid off, with the pair eventually named joint Head Designers of Ports 1961 (then Ports International).
Not content with success in Canada, they embarked on a move across the Atlantic to Milan, where they took the plunge to make it in one of the fashion world’s most cutthroat cities. “When we started, we said to each other this is our one shot, we can always come back to Canada we will just try,” they explain. “That’s why we also chose to come to Europe because if we went to New York it was a bus ride home and we could give up quicker. We wanted to put an ocean and a language barrier between us and our goal, we wanted to make it as difficult as possible to give up” After stints at several fashion houses, they chose to go it alone, with their sights set on their own label: DSQUARED2.
Never has a brand so utterly embodied its founders. Sexy, fun, and a little bit cheeky, the Catens have attested to the fact that they simply want to make clothes that they like, and that other people would actually want to wear. A novel idea, perhaps, and one that has found them a legion of celebrity fans – they’ve dressed everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Cristiano Ronaldo - and birthed collections of cult pieces; from their infamous ‘ICON’ caps, to their Canadian Maple Leaf designs and bold slogan sweats and tees. For a brand that began as a luxury denim destination, they’ve grown up over the years, developing a skill for beautifully tailored pieces – all with that DSQUARED2 sex appeal, of course.