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Get ready for a lot more of Dan and Dean Caten. The brothers behind the Dsquared label are headed for the airwaves. All of their projects are intended to raise consumer awareness of Dsquared in America.
This story first appeared in the May 1, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The mantle of media persona seems natural for the Catens, who are known in fashion circles for their showmanship, exuberant personalities, affinity for nightlife and, of course, their identical twinship.
Last week, they finished taping “Launch My Line” (originally announced as “Celebrity Sew-Off”), a new fashion competition series they are hosting on Bravo. The premise: 10 professional fashion designers are paired with pop-culture notables who all want to launch their own fashion line. Scoop boutiques co-founder Stefani Greenfield and boutique owner Lisa Kline sit as judges.
“We got really attached to these people,” said Dan and Dean, finishing each other’s sentences. “We were there to be mentors and give them constructive criticism to help them grow, and create, and develop their inner selves. We’re not there to be bitchy. We tried to pull everything we could out of them. And we got teary eyed at the end. Sending someone home every other day is really tough.”
Since North America associates Dsquared primarily with jeans, they said, they deliberately wore three-piece suits on the show.
With “Launch My Line” wrapped in Los Angeles, they took a red-eye to New York to record their new, monthly radio program for Sirius XM satellite radio, “Dean and Dan on Air: Style in Stereo.”
“We started to realize how much people appreciated the music from our shows. We always get requests for CDs, but then you have to pay for rights or whatever. By strange coincidence, we met the president of Sirius and he asked us to come in,” said Dan.
Each hourlong show is mainly about the runway music from a particular season.
“First we tell them about the season, what the theme was, and we listen to the 15 minute megamix from the show,” said Dean. “Then we go on to talk about other music from that era that we loved, but that didn’t make it into the show. And we listen to those.” They do this for both the men’s and women’s show of the season. They also reminisce about what was on their minds or what they were experiencing that influenced them at the time, leaving room for tangents.
The first installment of the program is about the hip-hop/”Charlie’s Angels” collection in stores now. The next two go over the memorable religion-themed season and the “Thunderdome” season.
“Our shows tell a story with the clothes and the music and the environment; it’s a 360-degree show. For us music is key because it makes you feel a certain way. And we show early in the morning, so we want to give people a great start to their day,” said Dean.
“We love being storytellers, bringing joy to people, taking them on a journey for 15 minutes,” said Dan. “If people say Dsquared is the most entertaining show of the week, that’s enough for us because that’s what we do. But as much as we’re showmen, we also have 96 percent sell-through worldwide. Because our clothes, our product, are for real people. If I wouldn’t wear it, it won’t go on the runway.”
From New York, the twins went on to London to shoot their next collection campaign, featuring model Lara Stone and…themselves.
“We’re all about self-promotion now; we’re celebrities in our own right,” said Dean, half joking.