Dino Minichiello

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Dino Minichiello (born December 28), legal name Domenic Dean Minichiello, is a Canadian fashion designer, entrepreneur and the founder and cofounder of several apparel companies.

He was formerly the founder and lead designer for ONS[1]—a line of men’s and women’s undergarments—and Dino Minichiello Designs Ltd, a designer label of men’s and women’s professional and evening wear.[2]

In the late 1990s, as he was transitioning into a career in business, he was one of Vancouver’s hottest up-and-coming fashion designers, with a variety of magazines and newspapers featuring and describing him as an artist on the leading edge of Vancouver’s evolving fashion industry.[3]

Until mid-2015 he was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Triumph Capital, a Canadian private equity and investment banking firm that combines capital support with hands-on executive consultation.

His new venture, Cattivo Ragazzo, a luxury men's apparel house is to be launched in Q2-3 2017. Not many details are known beyond rumours and a landing page.[4]

Dino Minichiello
Born Domenic Minichiello
Residence Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation Founder and CEO of Triumph Capital
Relatives Paul Minichiello (father)

Early life[edit]

Dino was born in North Vancouver on Wednesday, December 28. His father, Paul Minichiello, was a prominent master tailor in the Vancouver fashion scene from the 1960s to the early 2000s. Paul attracted both national and international attention with his custom-made shirts and suits, garnering a large stable of dedicated celebrity clients, such as Sonny Bono, Wayne Gretzky and Carl Weathers.[5]

The family business, and his father’s success, made a large impression on Dino, and soon after he graduated high school he designed and created his own zip-up dress shirt.[6] It was a hit, and all his friends wanted ones of their own, but it wasn’t until his mid-twenties that he felt ready to step into his father’s footsteps.[6]


ONS undergarment line[edit]

Print advertisement for ONS undergarments , 1997

In 1996, Dino launched ONS, a label of designer men’s and women’s underwear.[1] Comprising brightly colored boxers, briefs and G-strings in fabrics like burnout velvet, stretch velour and imported silk, ONS was specifically designed and marketed as an alternative to more conservative underwear from Calvin Klein and Fruit of the Loom.

Designs featured reflective waistbands and loud patterns, such as leopard print, and when asked where his underwear looked best Dino told Vancouver magazine: “On the floor.”[7]

Boundary-pushing and focused on creating a buzz, each ONS purchase also included a complimentary (and flavored) ONS-labeled condom, with portions of each sale going to HIV/AIDS research.[8]

For its flashy designs, edgy marketing and playful style the ONS line received instant acclaim and attention, throttling Dino into the spotlight of up-and-coming fashion designers in Vancouver.

Appearing in Vancouver magazine,[7] Vancouver ECHO,[9] Vancouver Taxi,[3] Xtra! West[10] and the North Shore News,[1] each cover story profiled him as one of the city’s most promising young designers who were responsible for putting Vancouver back on the international fashion map.

The Chew Chew Club[edit]

Co-owner Andy Chu and chef Gerry Kleinhout outside The Chew Chew Club, 1998

In 1998 Dino turned his sights on rescuing famous Vancouver landmark The Railcar in Gastown.

Built in 1929, the retrofitted traincar/restaurant was a popular draw with well-to-do tourists traipsing through the trendy Vancouver neighborhood, but the owners changed hands several times and the various iterations never found sustained success with the local residents.[11]

Dino and business partner Andy Chu purchased The Railcar and rebranded it as The Chew Chew Club, taking direct aim at a younger, hipper and more affluent demographic.

The pair hired edgy chef Gerry Kleinhout who crafted a casual, tapas-style menu that featured a blend of quirky specialties, such as potato-crust pizza, and high-end offerings, such as imported P.E.I. mussels.[12]

Minichiello retail[edit]

Following the success of ONS, Dino set about bringing his family business’s high-profile name to the heart of Downtown Vancouver by opening his own high end store in Yaletown.

Minichiello opened on June 16, 1999, and carried Dino’s own label of designer men’s and women’s wear.[13]

Marketed as bringing to Downtown Vancouver “the best of old-world Italian couture coupled with new world attitude,” Dino’s new store and new fashion line quickly gained him celebrity clients such as Rodney Dangerfield, Nick Gilder, Pat Quinn and Olympian Charmaine Crooks.[2]

During this time he was also nominated for “best emerging designer” by the B.C. apparel industry.[2]

Triumph Capital[edit]

In January 2009 Dino founded Triumph Capital, a private equity and investment banking company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Recognizing the importance of combining capital investment with practical hands-on executive experience, Dino set about positioning Triumph Capital as a firm that specializes in taking companies to new levels of profitability.

Cattivo Ragazzo[edit]

As part of promise to his father, Paul Minichiello, Dino decided to return to his tailoring roots. Cattivo Ragazzo, to launch in late 2017, is rumoured to be his most ambitious project yet.

Charity work[edit]

Throughout the years Dino has played an active role as a fundraiser for a variety of local, national and international charities, including: the Heart and Stroke Foundation, World Vision, the Children's Wish Foundation, the ALS Society, Loving Spoonful, the Confratellanza Italo-Canadese and the Richard Brodeur Charity Golf Classic.


  1. ^ a b c Christensen, Layne. “Designers ride the waves of fashion”. (June 15, 1997). North Shore News
  2. ^ a b c Christensen, Layne. “Minichiello opens Yaletown boutique”. (June 20, 1999). North Shore News, p. 21
  3. ^ a b “Body and Soul”. (Issue Five, May 1997). Vancouver Taxi.
  4. ^ "Cattivo Ragazzo - Coming Soon". www.cattivoragazzo.com. Retrieved 2016-12-11. 
  5. ^ Empey, Dave (November 28, 1979). “Rocky’s ‘Apollo Creed’ pays a visit”. The Citizen, p. 33
  6. ^ a b Christensen, Layne. “Dino follows dad’s lead”. (August 25, 1996). North Shore News, p. 17
  7. ^ a b “The Goods”. (Jan/Feb 1998). Vancouver, p. 47
  8. ^ Holloway, Karen. “No longer under wraps”. (March 26, 1997). Vancouver Echo, p. 3
  9. ^ “Sudden exposure”. (March 26, 1997). Vancouver Echo, cover and p. 15
  10. ^ “Cover”. (October 29, 1998). Xtra! West.
  11. ^ Mines, Robin. "Chew Chew Club is right on track". (March 12, 1998). Westender, p. 14
  12. ^ Stainsby, Mia. "Club car offers a decent dining ride". (May 7, 1998). The Vancouver Sun, C6
  13. ^ Parry, Malcolm. “Minichiellos measure those loading freely”. (June 18, 1999). The Vancouver Sun, p. A3

External links[edit]