On the Town with Shinan: Dsquared²​ fête their 50th in Toronto

By Shinan Govani

Photo: © Getty Images

Let’s hope those Dsquared 2 twins have been taking their B-12 shots – their last month has been insane. Not only Dean and Dan Caten just turn 50 (complete with Instagram best wishes from Naomi Campbell), but they took over an entire castle for a party in Toronto, and then trotted right off for Milan to put on a huge show in to fete the 20th anniversary of their line (complete with a serenade by Mary J. Blige).

And that’s just the tip of the Dsquared² iceberg. Canada’s biggest double-act rarely does anything half-hearted, if you hadn’t noticed.

“Things are just falling into place right now,” is how Dan surmised their place in the current fashion-sphere in a recent interview with Business of Fashion (BOF). Having now dressed everyone from Kanye West to Adrien Brody, and done the on-stage frippery for both Madonna and Rihanna, they recalled growing up in Toronto’s Willowdale: “We came from a little suburb and everything was against us. ‘How are you going to go from there to there?’ Our father was the first person to say that…”

Photo: © Getty Images

That party, in Toronto, that I mentioned, it was a dinner for…oh, 150. Extended family! That’s what happens when you’re from a family of nine siblings. And, yup, it was at Casa Loma, that Gothic Revival-style manse that sits on a hill and was built by Sir Henry Pellatt. Bringing in a member of their team from Milan to oversee the decor, I was told, Dean and Dan had arranged for family photos in gilded frames lining the hallways, and evergreen and spruce trees lining, well, everything else. With a potpourri of local faces showing later for cocktails – fashion icon Suzanne Boyd and those daffy Beckerman sisters, Samantha and Caillianne, among them – the night wasn’t finito until Alex Newells, from Glee, performed, and Dean and Dan sashayed the length of the solarium at Casa Loma, as guests followed behind in what was a kind of flash-mob/couture runway dizziness.

One way, certainly, to ring in a combined 100 years for twins who are never, ever apart, and had been known to say, “We share the same soul.”

One other thing: having watched the twins for some time now, it’s been interesting to see them mature as businessmen. They always had pizzazz, but they are major players, too. Turning what BOF says is over €210 million a year in profits, they also opened the restaurant Ceresio 7 in Milan last year, and retail expansion is a-go-go for 2015.


Photo: © Rogers Media

Will Oprah make a cameo on her good friend Lee Daniels’ hot new show on Fox, Empire? When asked recently about the prospect, Daniels said nah, “She said she has her own network now!” That made me laugh! OWN it, Oprah.

The show, which is airing in Canada now on City and some are calling a “Black Dynasty” – with shades of both The Godfather and King Lear thrown in for good measure – is already defying TV trends in a big way. Starring Terence Howard as a hip-hop mogul, and Taraji P. Henson as his hell-hath-no-fury ex-wife, the show went up again in viewers with its episode this past week. Why is this a big deal? Well, when Empire premiered in early January, its viewership was 9.9 million in the U.S., considered a success by any measure for the beleaguered Fox. Then, it went up in its second episode. And again in the third and forth. According to industry watchers, this growth-to-growth hasn’t happened with a new series on network television for two decades. Usually, the reverse happens – a show bows big, and then it dips.

I, for one, am already a disciple. It’s doing everything a sudsy drama should be doing. And Taraji in her role as “Cookie” is dangerously breath-taking – she’s the new Alexis Carrington!

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