How Celeb-Favorite Designer Danielle Guizio Started Her Line With $400

Her collection is beloved by the likes of Bella Hadid and the cast of 'Euphoria.'

Barbie Ferreira from Euphoria

Warner Media

When walking down the streets of New York City, it won't take long before you spot an outfit by Danielle Guizio. The designer launched her eponymous line in 2014, and has since been worn by the likes of Bella Hadid, Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber, and even Lady Gaga. While many young designers might feel intimidated about diving head-first into the fashion industry, that wasn’t the case for Guizio. “It's kind of crazy. I feel almost more scared now,” she says. But at the time, she recalls, “I was at the point where I had nothing to lose.” 

Guizio started her brand with about $400 in savings. “I was working retail, and I had just been saving money. I would just stuff the cash away like in the drawers of my childhood bedroom. At the time, $400 sounded like a lot!” she recalls.

A skirt and T-shirt designed by Danielle Guizio
Courtesy of Danielle Guizio.

 Danielle Guizio

She started by creating a collection of custom graphic T-shirts from the basement of her childhood home in New Jersey. A friend who worked at Nylon magazine encouraged her to get into fashion, but the question was how exactly. One night as they talked, Guizio realized she wanted to start her own collection. "That’s when I said I wanted to start a brand, specifically with graphic tees, because my mind operates digitally,” she says. 

The duo sat down and created her website that same night. Soon after, Guizio started manufacturing her designs. “I found a little shop in my town that I had driven by a few times, and I basically walked in there and said, ‘This is all I have to spend. Please print these t-shirts!’ and I just started negotiating with them.”

A woman wears Danielle Guizio clothing designed by Danielle Guizio
Courtesy of Danielle Guizio.

Danielle Guizio 

The rest, as they say, is history: Kylie Jenner wore one of her pieces from that very collection. "I had just started my brand, and I was on Vine and Twitter all the time, and my phone started blowing up. Her first thought was, “Oh my fucking god, is this happening?” Her second was to check the website to make sure everything was still working. “As a business owner, when momentum is there, you have to think about how you can sustain it,” she says. “Like ordering more inventory as those big moments happen.” 

You may have also seen many of Guizio’s designs in the latest season of Euphoria. But the amazing collaboration almost didn’t come to fruition at all: It all started when Guizio received an email that she actually thought was a scam. 

“Almost four years ago, we got an email — and it wasn’t from an HBO email address — saying, ‘Hey, we're doing this show that Drake is producing, and it includes all of these actors,’” she recalls. “But, at the time, the stars that were on Euphoria weren't as big, so I just wasn't familiar with them, and it just sounded really fishy.”

Barbie Ferriara wears Danielle Guizio designs on the set of HBO's Euphoria
Courtesy of HBO/Time Warner.

HBO/Time Warner

One side effect of her success is that Guizio has to be cautious as scammers trying to score free goods prey on small businesses. “People email us all the time pretending to be Kylie Jenner’s assistant, so I told my team to ignore it because it’s definitely fake,” she says. But sure enough: “Four months later, I had a weird feeling that maybe it wasn’t a scam because I heard that there is actually a new show coming on HBO. We answered the email, and the show’s stylist Heidi Bivens and her team have been so awesome to work with.”

The Euphoria boost was major for her brand. Last year, she attended her first CFDAs in 2022 alongside Albert Ayal of Up Next Designer, for whom she created her first custom menswear design. As for which celebrity she’d love to see next in one of her pieces, Guizio reveals, “Beyonce! Also, Kim Kardashian is my number one,” she says. And keep an eye out for pop royalty: “Madonna has also pulled a few times but hasn’t worn anything yet.” Following successful collaborations with Levi’s and Reebok, she’s manifesting a collab with another major player: Adidas.  

As the designer’s fashion star continues to rise, it’s proof that anything can happen with $400 and a dream — and maybe an assist from a Jenner or two.

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