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Dsquared2’s Dean and Dan Caten: ‘Being bullied for being gay made us stronger and more creative’

The fashion designers and identical twin brothers lead our new March Style Issue.

By Will Stroude

Dsquared2’s Dean and Dan Caten might be the toast of the fashion world, but the Canadian designers credit their tough school years with giving them the strength to make it to the top.

The identical twin brothers, 54, launched their first collection in 1986 before founding their A-list-friendly fashion house Dsquared in 1995, going on to design for stars including Madonna, Britney and Christina.

It was the culmination of a life-long journey that first began when the brothers first found solace in fashion after stuggling with bullying in their teenage years.

“That’s kind of why we got into fashion. It’s a world where you’re accepted and a world where you feel at home,” Dean explains in the Attitude’s March Style Issue, available to download and order globally now.

“We hated school and we hated all these people around us”.

He goes on: “It was a different thing then, but it was hateful and harming and you remember.

Dsquared2’s Dean and Dan Caten, shot by Vijat Mohindra exclusively for the Attitude’s March Style Issue

“In a weird way we took a negative thing and tried to take energy from it and make us stronger and creative. Sort of, ‘You can do whatever you want [to me] but I’m going to do something or be something.’

“It was a negative reinforcement to say ‘Fuck, I’m going to show you. Make fun of me, but I’ll laugh at the end.'”

Dan, who is just minutes younger than his twin, adds: “Online is all mean comments and abuse. Before you couldn’t be who you were because someone was going to pick on you and you felt you should try to butch up.

“It’s more interesting now, you can be a bit more who you are. People can still get picked on but they can stand up for who they are and not just take it.

“Our brand has a voice and we like to use it for a positive spin.”

You can read our exclusive interview with Dsquared2’s Dean and Dan Caten in Attitude’s March Style Issue, out now.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: three issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.