Denise was born in New York and raised in Quito, Ecuador, where both of her parents are from. She studied Fashion Design and Production Management at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and Polimoda- Istituto Internazionalle della Moda in Florence. She also attended several business courses at Harvard University in Boston, “Building new Ventures”.
She worked several years with Donna Karan in New York. This was a big inspiration in her career, she then worked for Ann Taylor for two years until she decided to launch her own brand “DENISE CRUZ” in 1999, a collection made of exclusive laces and stretch materials. Her designs were sold in several department stores in the United States such as Nordstrom, White House Black Market, Cache and others and over 150 specialty boutiques in the USA, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Germany, Austria and England.