Designers Dan Caten (left) and his twin brother, Dean, are the hosts of Bravo’s newest show, “Launch My Line,’’ in which non-fashion designers create complete clothing lines. (Trae Patton/Bravo)
Designers Dan and Dean Caten, the Canadian twins responsible for outfitting celebs such as Madonna, Justin Timberlake, and Rihanna with their Dsquared2 line, are the latest fashion designers taking a turn on reality television. The Catens host “Launch My Line,’’ Bravo’s next attempt to fill the “Project Runway’’ void. In “Launch,’’ non-fashion designers (think architect, choreographer, or DJ), are each paired with an experienced fashion designer to compete for a chance to start their own label. The show debuts on Dec. 3, and the bickering between experts and amateurs starts almost immediately. It wouldn’t be fashion without tension. We recently chatted with Dan Caten on the phone from Italy to hear just how nasty things got on the runway.
Q. What was it that attracted you to the show?
A. Really, we were just supposed to be judges. They liked us, they liked the idea that we’re designers and we could relate to a lot of what was happening, and that’s how we became hosts. We feel like professors on the show. We try to squeeze the contestants and challenge them. I’m just glad I wasn’t the one having to slave and sew. It was fun being on the other side for a change. It was nice to see how they evolved. They really listened when we spoke to them. They weren’t arrogant.
Q. How are the challenges on this show different from “Project Runway’’?
A. It’s called “Launch My Line,’’ not “Launch My Dress.’’ These people really have to create a coherent collection that says something. They can’t create something that one week looks like Ralph Lauren and the next week looks like Versace. I think what makes the show interesting is that they can make a beautiful dress, but if it doesn’t fit with the rest of their line, it’s not going to work.
Q. You and your brother have done work for an amazing number of celebrities. Were you able to convince any of then to come on the show?
A. Of course. What are friends for? It’s our first TV show. But that’s all I’m going to tell you.
Q. You are a cagey one. Did you have any real disasters? You have people on this show who don’t even know how to sew.
A. There’s a few dramas. It’s the real world. The thing I like about the show is that it’s all true, it’s all real, and there are big tizzy fits between queens. That’s how designers are sometimes.
Q. You work as a team with your brother. Do you and your brother ever find yourself in similarly tense situations?
A. Sometimes I want one thing, he wants the other. And where do you end up? So for us, the show is all very close to home.
Q. You and your brother are so tiny. I feel like I could scoop the two of you up and put you in my pockets. Do you live on a diet of cigarettes and coffee?
A. Tiny? I’m busting out of all my shirts! Well, we’re naturally slim, but I have a little bit of a gut. But really, we eat like pigs. We live in Italy part of the year, how could we not eat?
Interview was condensed and edited.