MILAN — Celine may have found its new designer — or make that, design team.
WWD has learned that the Paris-based fashion and accessories company, which is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is in talks with DSquared, the hot Italian label designed by twin brothers Dan and Dean Caten. According to sources here and in New York and Paris, talks are said to have been going on for several weeks.
“We’re flattered by the offer,” said Dan Caten Sunday. “It would be great to collaborate with such an important French house.”
The Catens, however, declined to comment on any details surrounding the talks or imminency of a deal.
Although the Catens are interested in the offer, there could be a roadblock. DSquared has a 10-year production and distribution agreement with Renzo Rosso’s Diesel Group, and it’s possible the twins have a contractual obligation, although specifics could not be learned.
DSquared has become one of the hottest young labels out of Milan the last few seasons. The Catens, who are Canadian, attended Parsons School of Design but never completed their degrees. They started their label with men’s wear, showing their first women’s wear designs during the men’s shows in Milan in summer 2002. Their first full-fledged women’s wear show was last February and summed up the DSquared line and its attitude — the models, in aviator jackets and leather, walked out of the door of an airplane parked at the end of the runway, down a set of airplane steps and then down the catwalk.
Their spring 2004 line is slated to be shown Tuesday night here.
How the Catens’ campy, playful and sexy attitude would translate into Celine is unclear at this point. Michael Kors, who has two more seasons under his contract with the house, has done ready-to-wear for Celine very much in the same vein as his namesake collection, focusing on luxurious materials and understated chic. Kors, though, is keen to give up his Celine duties in order to concentrate on his own company, the majority of which was bought by Lawrence Stroll and Silas Chou earlier this year. Stroll and Chou are eager to expand the Kors brand into the better market, as well as accessories.