The Caten twins shake up London's Savile Row with a new Dsquared2 flagship and design studio
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To mark the 20th anniversary of Dsquared2, Canadian brothers Dean and Dan Caten have opened the first of their new European store design concept in London - a city that they have also called home for the past nine years.
However, more than housing their largest retail store - at 4,600 sq m over three levels - the building also accomodates a new London design studio, which was previously located in a less formal form within their South Kensington abode. 'We took the third floor as well,' says Dan on a walk through of the Conduit Street building, 'as from the outside the windows go from the third floor to the second floor and we didn't want someone on the third floor with an ugly office, so that will become our new design studio.'
Before now the twins have been self-confessed gypsies, boarding a plane at least twice a week. 'We can now spread out, and it will be one-stop shopping,' he says of their multi-tasking Mayfair maison. 'Rather than having to travel all the time we will have people from the company come here. It will be another way of life so will are really happy.' Head office will remain in Milan, and production in Italy, but the twins will also hire a new team to work with them in London. 'We will have an Italian team and a British team,' says Dan, adding, 'It's great, we can just pop up and down for clients.'
Divided into zones, the boutique is dominated by dark wooden cabinetry and shelving, which creates intimate pockets. For example, on the second floor, one particular corner of their womenswear hosts only evening gowns with dual curtains that can be drawn across to create a private salon. 'More of a luxury pampering zone,' says Dan of the customisable space, which will be translated for the next range of flagship openings in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.
Most areas have their own grouping of furnishings from wall-mounted antler lights and chandeliers ('Before they were natural and now everything is a little bit chicer,' says Dean, as we pass a blackened antler lamp) to ochre velvet armchairs and lounges; 'You should feel comfortable, so it is homey,' adds Dan.
Menwear is located on the ground floor, which makes perfect sense given that the space corners London's Savile Row and Conduit Street, with the basement housing the brand's casual world including the trucker caps, sneakers and denim that they first burst onto the scene with. 'They know us for this floor,' says Dean, 'and it's about trying to change that and offer a true representation of who we are that you won't get at a department store.'
Dan agrees, 'It's an evolution of the store concept as in the beginning it was all lumberyard,' he says of their rustic interiors, 'with stacks of wood piled up. Now, as we have matured, they're still here, but shot in black and white and more refined,' he says referring to a graphic image that backs the main stairwell featuring a verdant vista of a Canadian forest. 'Less lumberyard and a little more elegant as we get older.' And as for their expansion plan: 'The goal is five stores a year for the next couple of years,' says Dean, who may not get to be a homebody in London just yet.
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