Saturday, September 12, 2009

Brothers behind DSquared label to get star on Walk of Fame

Dean and Dan Caten — the Canadian brothers behind the high-end fashion label DSquared — say they started out designing denim because they weren't allowed to wear it when they were growing up.

"Our Dad, like a lot of older people, thought denim is for poor people," said Dean Caten on Friday, in an interview with CBC's Q cultural affairs show.

The twin brothers were in a family of nine children, raised by a single father, a welder, in Toronto.

As they prepare to receive a star on Canada's Walk of Fame, they say their success in the fashion world is probably due to that modest background.

"I think sometimes the less you have, the more creative you have to become," Caten said. "It's not having the things you want in the fashion sense. We didn't have great clothes growing up, and we didn't have fashion accessible to us."

DSquared is based in Milan, and it now has moved way beyond denim and counts Madonna as one of its fans.

But the twins' collections are still tinged with Canadian themes, Dan Caten said.

"For us, doing a collection, we start with a theme, and that gives us a point of departure — cowboys, matadors," he said.

"We're telling a story. It's like making a short film. When it comes time for the runway, we have the set, the music, the lighting — will we make it rain or snow?"

DSquared's next challenge is designing costumes for participants in the Vancouver 2010 Olympic opening ceremonies.

They say they're thrilled at receiving the Walk of Fame honour.

"It’s one of the biggest honours for us when it comes from your own country," Dean Caten said.

The Catens are among nine celebrities to be inducted into the Walk of Fame on Saturday.

The others are:

* Children's author Robert Munsch.
* Rocker Tom Cochrane.
* Rock group blue Rodeo.
* Champion wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc.
* Comedian Howie Mandel.
* Actress Kim Cattrall of Sex and the City.
* Late actor Raymond Burr.

The 2009 inductees will be celebrated at a gala at Toronto's Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

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