DSquared2’s Dean and Dan school Ryerson’s fashion students

DSquared2’s Dean and Dan school Ryerson’s fashion students

The Brothers Squared (Photo courtesy of Ryerson University)

While few of Toronto’s fashion students gathered at Ryerson University’s AMC lecture theatres on Friday are likely to achieve the fame DSquared2 designers Dean and Dan Caten have, the twins’ made-in-Canada success story is certainly an inspiration to our budding fashion talents. Interviewed in a lecture hall by Jeanne Beker, the vivacious brothers and their trendy clothing and accessories brand have been much talked-about since receiving the thrust of approval from Madonna, whom they outfitted for the Drowned World Tour in 2001 (and about the last time Madonna wore anything enviable) spoke about the path to fame from Willowdale, Ontario, where they were raised in a family of nine children. The high-end designers have also used pop sexpots Christina Aguilera and Rihanna in their shows.

“It’s a new form of advertising,” says Dean, about the celebrities who tote the brand. “It’s super important.”

Beker, who said she “squeezed” into a hot little black number that came to her house around midnight the previous night, reflected on the fashion industry’s role in an increasingly complicated world, wondering: “Does the world really need another dress? How do you justify that?” The brothers said they feel good about giving people something different and unique to wear, “It’s not like the ’60s or ’70s, when everybody looked the same,” says Dean. Most people don’t dress alike, but the twins, who are “always together” do—both donned their label’s jeans and white shirts, albeit with different jackets.

Last week, the Catens, who said the most challenging part of their career was moving to Milan to break through internationally, were inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame. “Us being Canadian is what we have that is different—negative or positive, it’s special.”