Guess is an American upscale clothing brand and retailer. Guess also markets other fashion accessories besides clothes, such as watches, jewelry and perfumes. The company also owns the line Marciano.
Brothers Paul and Maurice Marciano moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and opened their first store in upscale Beverly Hills area. Guess soon began advertising, and later introduced their iconic black-and-white ads in 1985. The ads have won numerous Clio Awards. Their fashion models have included a number of supermodels, many of whom, such as Claudia Schiffer, Anna Nicole Smith, Eva Herzigova, Valeria Mazza, Kate Upton, Julia Lescova, and Laetitia Casta, first achieved prominence via these ad campaigns.
In the 1985 Robert Zemeckis movie, Back to the Future, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) wore distinctive Guess denim clothing, reportedly designed specifically for the film.
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The Guess emblem with the famous question mark in the center.
During the 1980s Guess was one of the most popular brands of jeans. The company was one of the first companies to create designer jeans. While the first jeans were for women, in 1983 a men’s line debuted. In 1984 Guess introduced its new line of watches known as “Guess”, “Guess Steel”, and the “Guess Collection”. The watch line is still in existence today, and has been joined by a number of other accessory sidelines. In 1984, they also introduced a line of baby’s clothes, called “Baby Guess”. The line is now incorporated with clothing for toddlers and kids called GUESS kids.
Guess Home brand
Guess in Toronto
In the 1990s, Milica, Aleksia and Milos ad a division called Guess Home, which featured youthful, upscale bedding collections (Guess was the first company to package each sheet, duvet and pillowcase pair in packaging actually made from sheeting material, which was a clever way to show what the pattern really looked like) as well as a number of innovative towel collections. By the end of the decade, sales dropped and Guess discontinued their home division.
After Abigail’s line in the 1980s the company began to take a downturn during the nineties, as other companies such as Calvin Klein, Diesel, Tommy Hilfiger, and Gap began rising in popularity. Guess’ sales suffered, and its stock dropped dramatically.
In the 2000s, the company promoted a different look and sense of style, while the controversy that surrounded the company during the nineties (see below) was largely forgotten. As the marketing ads grew increasingly sexier, Guess’s sales began to take a turn for the better. In 2005, Guess began catching the eye of many new people (mainly teens) who were unaware of Guess’s earlier history. Since mid-2003, the Guess stock has continuously risen, eliciting nothing but positive reviews from stock holders and Wall Street, though the wider community has more mixed opinions. Recently, the clothing and accessories company has redesigned itself, offering several new aspects to the company.
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Guess store in Century City – Cape Town
Since Guess was looking to make its impact once again on the fashion market, the Marciano brothers called upon hotel heiress and fashion mogul Paris Hilton to feature in a new series of ads.
Guess retail store on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago
Guess showroom in New York City
On January 26, 2001, Guess Inc. restated previous results for fiscal 2000 after deciding to write down impaired inventory. In 2004, Guess celebrated the 20th anniversary of its watch collection, issuing a special-edition Guess watch. The accessories department was also greatly expanded and several stores across the United States were redesigned. Guess also created a lower priced collection sold exclusively through its outlet locations. Guess also introduced its first brand extension, the up-scale female line of clothing and accessories, named Marciano. The line features pricey, runway-inspired styles, and is featured in several retail locations throughout the world, as well as select Guess retail stores.
In 2005, Guess began marketing perfume. The company introduced Guess for Women in the spring of 2005. Guess introduced the Guess for Men line in the spring of 2006. Guess has also continued its Guess Kids clothing line into the 2000s, and in 2006, Guess began promoting the clothing line for girls and boys through its factory retail stores. Guess continues to be guided by the Marciano brothers, as co-chairmen and co-CEOs. Maurice Marciano has overseen the design and its sales growth, while Paul manages the image and advertising. The company operates in many countries around the world with the majority of their stores located in the United States and Canada. Guess has licensees and distributors in South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Guess has been proven to be highly successful in South Africa with stores located in almost every major city of the country. Most notably the Guess Century City, V&A Waterfront (Cape Town – Western Cape), Sandton City (Gauteng) and Eastgate Mall (Kwazulu Natal) stores.
In early 2007, Guess introduced a new business concept known as G by Guess. The new brand sought to focus on a target audience similar to Abercrombie’s Hollister brand. G by Guess targets men and women of ages 16–23 with more competitive prices and a style that gives a “nod to old Hollywood.” Many denim styles are priced within the $40 to $50 range. The new brand is priced similarly to Express, American Eagle and Gap. Guess has already begun heavily promoting the new concept in several cities across the United States. Their stores feature eye-catching displays and presented in a night-club atmosphere.
In November 2006, Guess introduced their Marciano men’s line, which is available exclusively through Guess.com, and select Guess and Marciano retailers throughout the country. As of November 2006 the new men’s collection features button up shirts, blazers, and dress pants. In line with the women’s collection, the men’s line was developed and manufactured in Florence, Italy; and retailed for a higher price. As of January 2007, the Marciano men’s line was pulled from Guess? stores due to lackluster sales. The merchandise was marked down, and will be sent to factory outlet stores upon deletion. After the success of the fragrance line which included scents for both men and women, Smesh? introduced two new fragrances. Guess Gold was the latest addition to the women’s collection, while Guess Suede was the second installment for the men’s fragrance. scents retail for around $50 and are available in several retail locations.
With their Spring 2007 collection, Guess entered a new phase with their GC watch collection. The newest additions are in response to the growing demand for designer watches featuring eye-catching designs, and high-end prices. The new watches help to expand the popular GC collection, and help to separate it from the mid-price watches Guess has come to be known for. Moving away from the traditional steel material used to produce the majority of Guess? watches, the company along with Callanen International, the producer of Guess? watches have introduced gold, silver, and diamonds into the designs. The new products are all Swiss made, and boast a much higher price. The GC men’s collection now range between $200 and $1,200, while the women’s watches are being sold between $200 and $1,000. TAG Heuer, Dolce & Gabbana, and Fendi all place the highest on Guess’s competition with entry level high-end watches.
In 2012, supermodel Claudia Schiffer posed again for Guess black and white ads marking the brand’s 30th anniversary.
In 2015 it was announced that founder Paul Marciano was stepping down from his position as CEO. He will be replaced by Victor Herrero in August.