Now this may seem like a bad pun, but it should not take away from the brilliance of these jeans. Guess started with jeans, which is basically what the company is generally famous for. No other than the four Marcianos are the figures behind this most widely recognized fashion leaders of today especially in the young contemporary women’s, men’s, kids’ and baby market.
Georges, Armand, Paul and Maurice were all hailed from Algeria, grew up in the southern part of France and moved to California in 1977. Couple of years after, the Guess Company was founded. Their first product was named “Marilyn”, a three – zipper style of jeans. Well, it was sexy and fresh, no wonder within hours, the entire stock was sold out. This was the birth of the Guess label, where its emblem – the question mark, goes with the inverted pyramid design. Though born in Europe, the founders wanted a mix of European and American taste for their apparel so they decided to combine the European style using a traditional American fabric material.
Guess also got famous for their iconic black – and – white ad campaigns that started in 1982. It has won numerous Clio Awards, an honor given to reward creative excellence in advertising and design. The brand’s fashion models have included a list of renowned supermodels where many of which initially reached prominence when they appeared in the ad campaigns.
In the 1980’s era, Guess was one of the most popular brand jeans. A year after, it launched its line of watches identified as “Guess”, “Guess Steel”, and “Guess Collection (Gc)”. The watch line still is being sold today along with other accessories. Later in 1984, “Baby Guess”, baby clothes’ line was introduced. Although the first designs were created for women, the following years, Guess Men’s line was introduced. Guess’ sales boomed after launching its several lines of clothing and accessories.
However, it experienced major downturn during the nineties as other clothing companies also rose up in recognition. Their stock dropped dramatically. Aside from that, little by little, their image was tarnishing. This got worse when they faced issues on labor and employment wage, and problems with regards to minimum wage rate and overtime pays. They were also found to have violated some regulations at one of the company’s contractors. The same year, Union of Needletraders, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE) sued the company for once again failing to pay the minimum wage and overtime to workers. UNITE went on with its public relations campaign against Guess where the company defied with a defamation suit against UNITE team.
To gain back its reputation, the company released a full – page ads in national American newspapers stating that its contractors are now “100% free of sweatshop labor”. Sweatshop is a term to describe a manufacturing company that is physically or mentally abusive and that workers are compelled to work unreasonable hours without receiving adequate amount in return. Guess also brought into play supermodels, gaining its impact once again in the fashion market. Paris Hilton was featured in a new series of ads that successfully grabbed the media’s attention. They also introduced its first brand extension, Marciano, a pricey female line of accessories and clothing. Guess Men line began in the spring of 2006, highlighting its luxury faux jacket and other sought after outerwear. In October 2006, the company also expanded their shoe line by re – introducing men’s shoes. And in November 2006 was the opening of Marciano men’s line, a creation full of shirts, blazers, and dress pants. Men’s line will soon be developing in Italy as well.
Guess continues to be guided by the Marcianos. The company has been operating in many countries and is lucratively gaining back its once-stained image.