If you wanted to create the ideal fashion brand, you might decide to take the legendary glamour of Hollywood and combine it with a dash of natural French chic. Which is exactly what the Marciano brothers did just over 40 years ago when they founded GUESS. Since then, GUESS has grown from a denim pioneer into a global lifestyle brand, supported by sexy, spirited advertising that has become iconic. Today, GUESS has over 1.500 retail stores worldwide and offers collections for men, women and children, as well as a wide range of accessories, from jewelry, fragrances, eyewear and timepieces to highly desirable shoes and bags.
In love with Americana, the brothers chose an American icon for their breakthrough product: a slim-fitting, stonewashed, three-zip ankle jean they called the Marilyn Jean. Defying the fact that stonewashing was rare in the US market – and potential skepticism about French gentlemen making such a symbolically American product – they sent a pair of jeans and a handwritten note to selected department stores. Bloomingdales loved the jeans, and ordered 24 pairs. The unique, sexy-cut style sold out within a few hours.
Then, of course, there was the advertising. It was entirely the brainchild of the youngest Marciano brother, Paul- with the glamorous world of GUESS so clearly fixed in his mind, he had no need for an agency. The campaigns would capture the allure of classic Hollywood. Launching or enhancing the careers of supermodels such as model: Claudia Schiffer, Alex Lundqvist, Carré Otis, Jon Kortajarena, Eva Herzigova, Laetitia Casta, Donny Lewis, Naomi Campbell, Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton
As for the photographers, they’ve ranged from established names like Ellen Von Unwerth to student Daniela Federici, who was plucked from film school by Paul Marciano in 1992 to shoot Anna Nicole Smith. Wayne Maser, Herb Ritts, Dewey Nicks, Raphael Mazzucco, and Pablo Alfaro have also contributed to over three magical decades of images from the brand. Whether black and white or color, the GUESS advertising style is instantly recognizable- seductive people against inspiring backgrounds, hinting at a story that viewers can invent for themselves. Finally, it must be said that many of the GUESS girls are more curvy than those seen in most fashion advertising.
Along with the iconic global fashion brand there is the GUESS Foundation, founded in 1994 in Los Angeles with the mission of fostering social, health and educational opportunities that give people everywhere a chance to live their best lives.
In the course of striving to achieve that dream, the foundation has been able to leverage our strong, empowered brand image to support a wide range of causes whose messages promote social change-change that enhances the well-being and development of people everywhere. The GUESS Foundation has partnered with several important philanthropic initiatives like Peace Over Violence for Denim Day, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. John’s Health Center and the World Heart Federation just to mention a few.
“The mission of the GUESS Foundation is helping to raise awareness towards this social plague, unfortunately still widely extensive” says Paul Marciano, President of the foundation, CEO and Creative Director of GUESS. “We feel a strong duty to increase the media attention on this issue in Italy. In recent years, the commitment to this has grown; however, the statistics indicate that there is still much to do and to say.” Wearing blue jeans was the way for women to protested against the verdict and since then Denim Day has become a campaign to promote the prevention of rape and sexual violence crimes.