Dean and Dan Caten
Updated: Jun 15, 2020
— I really want to congratulate you with your 25th anniversary of Dsquared2. It’s really cool that you’ve been so long in this industry and you’re doing amazing. Dan: We feel just like grandmas. (laughing) Holding out, right? Yes! We’re proud and so excited to have reached this milestone and it’s “ooh we’ve made this far”.
— From all of these 25 years in the industry what collection or project you like the most? If you can choose one of all of your projects? Dan: I have to say that the favourite show, the rst woman show that we did, when we had Naomi opening with the pink airplane, we had Karolína Kurková, amazing cast. Dean: The whole attitude of the show... Dan: They were irreplaceable in the show. But the attitude of the collection was very like carefree – they were like superstars getting up the private plane, maybe have an expensive snake leather jacket and dress pants, baseball hats and sunglasses ‘cause they were kind of neat though. But they had rich pieces thrown on, like they were not thinking, they don’t care. It was very I-don’t-care attitude. It was very cool. And the girls were killing it. They were rock stars. That was one of our favourites.
— And after so many years what else would you like to tell them? What is your message right now? Dan: We’ve been successful at what we do. We didn’t have a very easy beginning. So I think our message now is nding it’s time to give back. We feel like we want to give back. Exchanging and giving back, and then also adding your voice to express positive message, using your voice in a good way. Dean: Especially with the things these days, now we appreciate the blessings that we’ve had, counting these blessings, appreciating the simple things. And appreciating the fact that we’ve lasted this long... Making a di erence, changing lives, helping people.
— And how would you describe that fashion of now? Dan: It’s a mess. (laughing) Dean: No, it’s not that bad. (laughing). I think collections are confusing. Fashion industry makes you do so much stu and makes you go into the store in the summer and you want to buy something for the summer and you nd everything winter. It’s summer. I will look for a dress to buy for wearing it tonight. And all I see is downhill jacket. Dan: Because I think, there was an excessiveness of doing, excessiveness of product. And so I think now maybe people can get a little bit grounded, get a little bit more normal, slow down the pace. Say, you know what? I need this and I need this. I don’t need ve main things.
— So do you think people will understand later that they don’t really need that much, especially after the pandemic? Dan: Well I think this whole thing should make people awake. Dean: It’s a wake up call, I think. Or should be a wake up call.
— What impact has this pandemic had on your brand?
Dean: Appreciation. Dan: Yes, appreciation and its values and needs and humanity. Dean: We believe in the human race. Dan: And even now everything’s so virtual and so far, it’s a little bit lost using a human touch. I mean we’re trying to take the most positive things out of this. It brought us closer together. It’s healthy. So it brought up some good things.
— As you do both male and female fashion, what do you think of it now? Dan: When we started with men’s, our company is majority men’s. I mean, we kind of started direction with the man and the woman was joined. But now that we do co-ed shows, it’s quite cool that they are very cohesive and very complementary. And it’s not like she is doing something completely di erent from him, they’re in the same world, in the same atmosphere, in the same set, and they balance each other and sometimes they even merge into each other. They are borrowing things, crossing over. That’s really cool.
— What will happen to male fashion in general in the near future? Dan: I think male fashion is getting very very fast-forward. I mean I think men in general have been way more fashionably conscious then I’ve ever been. Men have never been so modern.
— But there are still some boundaries between female and male fashion right now. Do you think that these boundaries will ever disappear? Dan & Dean (in unison): No! Dan: I think we are very kind of realistic designers I have to say, but then I see a lot of young trendy designers that are out there. And it’s kind of cool because they’re way out there, they’re expecting their thing. Okay. Conformation is the enemy to freedom. Okay. Never conform. If you don’t conform, you can be as crazy as you want. And I think that’s why I like fashion now, because if I like it, I can do that. And if I don’t like it, I can do something else.
— Do you think that fashion has reached its main aim to unite people, to unite wardrobes, clothes? Dean: It ts big good e ort too... I mean I think the world in general is trying to push diversity and that diversity is okay. Dan: Individualism. Dean: You can be who you want to be without being told how to be. Dan: Free to be. Do as you want please.
— Now coming to you summer collection... Dan: Bruce Lee for us was like a very cool leader that back in the time, he was one of the rst Asian to break boundaries and come into Hollywood, to the lm industry. I’m crossing boundaries over there... handbags, accessories, earrings, but still quite tough. Making this summer collection was very easy. All of these transparent things, new tool story with cool layers. Then the tank tops, the military dragons is kind of Chinese dragons embroidered on cut leg chinos. Silks so soft, moving shirts for shirts printed, like all these Asian prints kind of tigers and jungle. And then even the shoe was really good because it should have double triple sole and then insert in the sole that was coordinating with them, one time it was red striped, gold striped, blue striped, like the kicks of colour. I mean enough to make it trendy, but enough also to keep the masculine, I think that’s a good balance we had in this collection. And then the touch of that, the underwear speaking out of the trousers. So that was your touch of silk.
— Was it just Bruce Lee or China in general your inspiration? Dan: It was Asia in general, and Bruce Lee was just a cool thing. That was a little cherry on the cake.
— And what other countries inspire you? Dan: Lots of countries, lots. De nitely our own country Canada is probably one of our biggest because we’re from there and what separates us from lots of designers is the fact that we are Canadian. We’re proud of being Canadian. We get lots from a lot of visits. You have to be very careful though. When we take things from countries, of appropriation and stu , you can touch stones that maybe some people don’t like.
— And what do you think is a must‐have from this collection? Dan: I have to say for men’s wear the shoes are amazing. I have to say they’re super cool. The pleat trousers. There’s actually the pleated trousers and the at-front trousers, which I love the shape of. The at-front trousers, it’s very simple, but it’s a little higher in a waist. It’s got a beautiful shape in the leg. And I think what we’d like to do too, is give you things that, are understandable, but then they’re still a bit forward, it’s not like “Oh my God, how could I ever wear that?” It’s kind of a chino in the end, but it’s just a really good looking tting shape chino that you don’t come across every day. And I think that’s what we focus on.
— What is the story of Pepsi collaboration? Dean: Because we were kind of in this little bit of a seventies, a mood. And now we wanted to do these vintage seventies t-shirts. And that’s why there was a vintage Bruce Lee t-shirt too. And then we ended up doing the Bruce Lee for the collection and I was on the Pepsi so much. So we asked them if we could use a vintage logo and then they suggested do it together. And then, so we did the maple leaf logo. So it was kind of like the vintage logo, but described Canadianized.
— Do you want to do anything else like this, like such collaborations? Dan: We do. We do, do a little mini collabs. I mean, we did a really cool one with Mert & Marcus for their book release. We did one with Drake on his brand called OVO. And we’re doing another one now with another brand. We did a K-Way collaboration, which was really cute. We did also a capsule for the 25th anniversary. We had a cute little logo which has these three balls, a black ball and two red balls. And so it was the #D25. So we wanted to do this as a merchandise collection of hoodies and t-shirts and jeans and stu with this #D25 mode. Two di erent graphics celebrating our 25 years. One was a digital time graphic. And the other was the ball graphic that we use on our ad campaigns, we used it on our promotions for this year.
— So one of your symbols also in this collection is Cher. Dan: Yeah. Icon! Because we did a collection with «ICON» logo and so we were thinking she would have been the perfect person to wear it. She is one of the most iconic people in the world, and when we got the opportunity to work with her, we were like: she needs to be an icon. And we were so honoured that she said yes and she agreed. And she was so lovely and so nice.