Dean and Dan Caten were born in 1964 as Dean and Dan Catenacci in Toronto, Ontario and grew up in the Willowdale area. They are the youngest of nine children. Their father is from a small town near Sora, Italy.
In 1983, they moved to New York to study fashion at Parsons The New School for Design, but stayed for only one semester before returning to Toronto. Finding a financial backer in 1986, they launched their first signature womenswear collection, DEanDAN. By 1988 they had signed on to label Ports International (currently Ports 1961) as creative directors to bring the company more fashion forward and upscale. At the same time, the Catens designed for their lower-end, leisure brand, Tabi International. In 1991, the brothers moved to Milan, Italy where they worked as designers for the house of Gianni Versace, and denim brand Diesel, the latter of which funded and launched their namesake brand. They debuted their men’s collection in 1994, and in 2003, they launched a women’s collection and a men’s underwear collection.
The brothers are known for designing clothes and staging elaborate fashion shows. They design men’s and women’s apparel, men’s and women’s footwear, fragrances, and cosmetics. A runway show in 2005 ended with Christina Aguilera stripping male models of their clothes.
In September 2007, the DSquared2 fashion show in Milan featured Rihanna entering the stage in an American muscle car, followed by a runway walk. In January 2010, the DSquared2 Autumn/Winter 2010 menswear show in Milan featured Bill Kaulitz descending from the ceiling in a caged elevator à la Rocky Horror Picture Show, followed by a runway walk. Bill Kaulitz opened and closed the Dsquared2 Autumn/Winter 2010 menswear show in Milan.
Their designs have been worn by Britney Spears,] Madonna Tokio Hotel’s lead singer Bill Kaulitz, Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin, Nicolas Cage, and Lenny Kravitz. In 2000–01, Madonna commissioned them to design over 150 pieces for her Drowned World Tour 2001 and “Don’t Tell Me” music video. DSquared2’s design was also featured in Britney Spears 2009 world tour The Circus Starring Britney Spears and Tokio Hotel’s Welcome to Humanoid City tour.
They have been featured on America’s Next Top Model and they appeared in the music video for Fergie’s “Clumsy” and The Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”.
In 2006, the brothers were selected to design the new official uniforms for football team Juventus. In March 2008, the Catens signed an agreement to design sunglasses with Marcolin, an Italian sunglasses and spectacle manufacturer. In June 2007, the first DSquared2 flagship was opened in Milan’s fashion district. Stores have also opened in St Moritz, Athens, Mykonos, Capri, Istanbul, Kiev, Cannes, Singapore,Paris, Nicosia and Hong Kong.