Danielle Guizio Collabs With FDNY for Capsule Collection
“Keep back 200 feet” spans the backside of two long sleeve shirts—one black with cheetah print text and the other electric green—both featured in NY-based contemporary designer Danielle Guizio’s recent collaboration with FDNY (yes, the New York City Fire Department). The nine-piece, genderless capsule collection unifies streetwear youth apparel with tourism-inspired emblems and logos from one of NYC’s most recognizable organizations. But, the timeless collection serves as more than just an iconic logo attached to a few silhouettes. With comparable core values to those of Guizio’s brand, the collab speaks to the heroic and tenacious efforts of FDNY—an organization that the designer has personal ties to (a portion of the proceeds from the collection will benefit the FDNY foundation). Each piece was distinctively designed to emulate the persevering nature of what it means to be a New Yorker. We caught up with Guizio to hear more about what inspired the collection and advice she has for up and coming designers.
How did this collaboration come together? Does this specific collection hold any personal significance to you?
I love collaborating with other creatives, brands, and organizations- especially when there is a greater meaning behind it. I wanted to work with an organization who was rooted in the same ideals as my brand and and that has meaning and depth beyond just clothing. FDNY represents New York; it upholds characteristics of strength and perseverance that make up the DNA of New York. Being able to merge my work with a cause that gives back to the NYC community is incredibly special to me. I also have relatives that are firefighters so I do feel personally connected to that community.
Tell me about your experience working with the FDNY.
Working with the FDNY was a really fun experience. They were involved throughout the entire process, from conceptualizing designs to our photoshoots. It was refreshing to hear their perspective and input. We shot our editorial at Engine 65 in Mid-town and it was great to meet active members of the FDNY, have them see our pieces in person and get really excited about what we’re doing.
This nine-piece collection is genderless. Why is that?
I decided to introduce this collection as gender neutral for a few reasons. I wanted this collection to be completely inclusive, similar to the values of the FDNY and New York City as a whole. Gender neutral silhouettes are super important to me, it showcases that designs don’t always have to have a male or female label to them.
Do you ever encounter adversities being a female streetwear designer in a male-dominated realm? How do you overcome them?
There are a few obstacles being a female designer and CEO in a male-dominated realm, yes. But I don’t let it impact me in a negative way! I use it as motivation to work harder and prove that women can conquer just as much and more. I don’t look at a man and think to myself that there’s something he can do that I can’t.
What’s your favorite piece from the FDNY collection?
One of my favorites is the Logo Sweatpants. I’m personally a logo freak; the power and play that a logo has in brand identity is unparalleled. I love the iconic FDNY logos for that reason. In my opinion, they are some of the most recognizable and iconic logos in the U.S. I loved giving each distinct logo & badge a new life, all onto one garment.
What is something you would tell aspiring designers who wish to be in your shoes some day?
Never lose your ambitious spark. Always take that risk even when there’s a voice in your head that may be a whisper of doubt. Don’t let that voice ever overpower you or break you. Only you are in control and only you have the power to get yourself to where you need to go. When you reach hardships and obstacles, keep going at full force. We as humans really are capable of more than we know as long as we push ourselves past those limitations we set for ourselves. Most importantly, don’t compare your success to others. Your growth may be different than someone else’s success journey and that’s okay. Oh and pay attention in class and keep grinding!
Photos courtesy of Micaiah Carter
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