Danielle Guizio first started her journey of design by customizing and repurposing vintage Levi’s jeans, so a collaboration has theoretically been in the works since the celeb-favorite designer was a teen. In reality, the Guizio x Levi’s collection releases today. And it goes beyond cool-girl denim.
The line—which is done up in a classic mid-wash indigo—includes a corset with a lace-up back, an ultra-cropped flare-sleeved denim jacket, and two denim miniskirts, including one with a floral print. And, yes, there are jeans: Baggy relaxed-fit jeans that fit perfectly into the Guizio DNA and super-skinny low-rise flares round out the assortment.
After every time as a teen thrifter with a good eye and an innate ability to customize, Guizio went to fashion school for a stint before exiting to launch her namesake brand, which started with T-shirts that quickly caught the eye of names like Hailey and Bella (aka no last monikers necessary).
The denim collaboration is a culmination of an ambitious and successful past eight years for the designer. “This collection is very meaningful to me. … It symbolizes growth and hard work,” Guizio tells BAZAAR.com. “The garments themselves tell a story of celebrating the sacristy of women and embracing the divine that is. The polarity of the denim fitted corsets and baggy oversized-fit denim showcase the versatile elements to our modern-day woman.” Read more about her inspiration and how being left unread does n’t always mean it’s the end, and shop the collection below.
Why was Levi’s an ideal partner to collaborate with?
Collaborating with Levi’s has always been a goal of mine for my brand. Levi’s is the epitome of a true classical heritage brand that is naturally timeless. throughout the years, they are a brand that does not change with the trends; they still sell the same product from the day they started the company. To me, that is so beyond admirable and inspiring.
How do your brands align?
When I started my brand, I was repurposing vintage Levi’s denim jeans. I was distressing them all by hand for nights on end in my first little office. Once we put them up on the site, they would sell out within minutes. At the very beginning of my career, that was huge for me.
They also helped me get the denim on celebrities and models that had yet to even wear any of our other pieces in the collection or even knew of my brand solely because of the recognizability within Levi’s. Everyone knows vintage Levi’s are going to be their favorite pair of jeans in their closet.
What was your inspiration for the collection?
I wanted to keep the collection classic, honestly nothing too extreme or outlandish. My idea was to go in with simplicity in mind. For months, we perfected the fit of the Baggy Denim, because I wanted it to be just right. I wanted them to feel like your go-to pair of jeans—the jeans you reach for when you want to look your best, the jeans you reach for when you’re having a good day or a bad day. The type of fit that doesn’t let you down, just pure comfort and ease.
For the Denim Bustier, my vision for that piece was purely feminine and romantic. The idea that merged both baggy jeans and a corset together, that feeling of comfort yet confidence.
Our Low Rise Flare Denim was a fun reminiscent silhouette for me. I wore this silhouette a lot in the beginning of my teenage years, so I wanted it to be somewhat of an ode to her.
Who do you see wearing it that perhaps differs from your namesake collection?
That’s the beauty of Levi’s. The familiarity, closeness, and comfort consumers already have tied to Levi’s is something so sacred. That almost helps me do my job, because half of the art to selling is having others trust in your product, to trust and believe in your product enough to use their hard-earned money to purchase it. Levi’s is already a staple, so I could only hope that people will love the designs as much as I do! I appreciate collaborations like this, because they really do help bring new customers and new eyes to the brand, and I’m so thankful for that visibility.
What’s your personal relationship with Levi’s? Any stories you remember about your connection to the brand?
I’m in shock every time I think about the collaboration. I can’t help but to wonder what my teenage self would think. I was the first to wear vintage Levi’s in my high school. I would walk the halls with distressed high-waisted shorts (which, at the time, high-waisted anything was not the trend). I would get made fun of for them, but that pair of Levi’s shorts holds such a special place in my heart. Even still to this day when I travel with them (yes, I still wear them!), I put them in my carry-on just to be safe!
Yesterday, when we posted the first teaser for the collaboration, we noticed a previous DM I had sent to Levi’s back in 2018 asking if they would be interested in a collaboration for us. The DM was left unread, but that clearly never stopped me. I really want that message to stick to anyone trying to follow their goals. If an opportunity is rejected at one point, it doesn’t mean it’s not right for you ever. It just means it’s not right for you right now.
What I’m getting at is I’m grateful it’s happening right now in my career rather than back in 2018 when I was less skilled and less experienced. Life certainly has divine timing, so never give in or give up.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
Kerry Pieri is Harper’s Bazaar’s Digital Fashion/Features Director. Kerry oversees the fashion vertical for BAZAAR.com, including launching digital covers, styling celebrity features, and managing recurring features including Brand Watch and My Life in Three Looks. In addition, Kerry edits the “best of” each season, from shoes to bags, denim and coats, and is consistently looking for shifts in the fashion realm to lend a voice. Kerry formerly served as the Editorial Director of StyleCaster.com and as a producer at Full Frontal Fashion. She lives in New York with her husband Steve, and baby girl Lila Sky.