MILAN — “The fashion system itself needs to be as fluid and modern as the changes it perpetrates on the runway,” said Dean Caten, who with his twin brother Dan will combine the Dsquared2 men’s and women’s shows starting next January.
The morning after the brand’s spring women’s show here, the Canadian designers cheerfully explained that the move felt entirely seamless. “The two collections complement one another,” said Dan Caten sitting poolside on the terrace of the Ceresio7 restaurant at the company headquarters. The twins will continue showing their brand in Milan. “We are ready for a new approach and it’s one that comes naturally to us because we always design the men’s collection with the Dsquared2 woman in mind and vice versa,” said Dean Caten.
“This step will allow our women’s show collection to have more shelf life in stores,” added Dan Caten. Before this move, Dean was more focused on women’s wear and Dan on men’s wear, but they now believe they will be able to work together even more closely and have more time to do so.
“We will have two pre-collections and two main collections per year, so this will simplify our life,” said Dan Caten.
Asked if they were worried that women’s wear could outshine men’s wear, they said they believe their man is “strong on his own, and he can only improve because he breathes in the same air as the Dsquared2 woman, and she can have additional [input]. Everything will be more cohesive.” In reference to the January and June men’s schedules, Dean Caten contended pushing men’s to the women’s slot in February would be “too late.”
Men’s wear accounts for 60 percent of company sales.
Stressing that this is not a move to cut costs, the designers noted that it’s actually more expensive to fly women models over to Milan during the men’s shows.
The designers said they already shoot the brand’s ad campaigns for the two divisions together.
Wholesale accounts for 70 percent of revenues and the Catens argued that this move will also open more possibilities for buyers, in addition to giving more shelf life to products.
Dsquared2 is manufactured by Staff International, controlled by OTB, and the designers believe this decision will give more time for production. Ready-to-wear represents 70 percent of Dsquared2 sales.
The Catens said they had been thinking about this move for the past eight months and that their 20th anniversary show in January last year, which presented collections for both divisions, was also an eye-opener. “We saw how representative of the brand it was,” said Dean Caten.
The development adds to the turmoil at international fashion weeks as a growing number of brands switch to coed and see-now-buy-now formats — or both, as Burberry did earlier this month during London Fashion Week.
In April, Gucci said it was planning to present its men’s and women’s collections in one fashion show starting in 2017. No decision has been made yet on whether the shows will be staged during the men’s or women’s shows in Milan. At the time, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele said it seemed “only natural” to take this step, despite the possible “challenges.”