Reaction to Le Figaro article, published June 3, 2015 - Georges Marciano sets record straight on the foundation of the Guess brand

Aug 03, 2015, 11:00 ET from Georges Marciano

MONTREAL, Aug. 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Georges Marciano would like to set the record straight on his leading role in the foundation of the internationally-recognized upscale fashion brand, Guess, following an article published on June 3, 2015, in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro entitled ―Paul Marciano, the 'Frenchie' of Los Angeles." Georges Marciano denounces the claim made by journalist Godfrey Deeny who stated in his article that "Guess, the brand he (Paul Marciano) has created, has become an empire." Though Georges Marciano welcomes the fact that Guess has become a must-have brand in the world of high fashion, he is angered that an impostor - a family member at that - is attempting to take credit for his own hard work. He is likewise disappointed that a journalist allowed himself to become an accomplice in spreading false information to the public, without fact-checking with other sources, including himself.

The beginnings of a career in the fashion industry

Georges Marciano's career began in the early 1970s when he first began to design and sell neckties bearing his name. In the mid-1970s, he founded the company MGA (Maurice, Georges and Armand) with two of his brothers to market clothing and fashion accessories. He crossed the Atlantic in 1978 and settled in California, where he became involved in the production and sale of jeans. In 1979, he launched the American firm Via Europa Diffusion Inc., where he worked with Georges Atlan, a friend from his native France. Together they designed, produced, and marketed jeans under the brand name Blue Way.

The birth of a flagship brand, Guess

It was in 1981 that Georges Marciano was inspired to create the Guess brand while looking at fast food chain Big Boy's billboard advertisement - and not McDonald's - as his brother Paul has claimed on numerous occasions. It should be noted that when Guess was created in 1981, Georges Marciano's brothers were not involved in any way with the design or production of jeans.

Furthermore, it was Georges Marciano's imagination and vision that led to the creation of the iconic Guess logo. "The logo tells the story of my past. The inverted triangle comes from the YIELD traffic signs that reminded me of France and the Provence region. The question mark was the work of Georges Atlan, my partner at the time. The numbers 1201 and 1203 are the addresses of the two storefronts where I started my work on Broadway in Los Angeles. My brothers did not participate - in any way, shape, or form - in the development of the Guess brand's iconic and world-renowned logo," insists Georges Marciano.

In 1982, Georges' brothers Maurice, Paul and Armand were only involved in the retail sales of clothing and accessories. Georges Marciano and Georges Atlan supplied them with jeans, which they in turn sold from their own stores. It was due to the growing success of the Guess brand and its popular collections that additional staff were necessary to meet rising consumer demand. It was in this context that Georges Marciano proposed that his brothers Maurice and Armand join him at Guess.

Georges Marciano, the man behind the success of Guess

From 1981 until his departure in 1993, Georges Marciano was the visionary that drove the success of the Guess brand. It was Georges who assumed the combined roles of Designer, President and CEO of the firm. His confidence in his brothers Maurice and Armand quickly led to Georges entrusting them with key decision-making roles within the business. "As for Paul, it was my brothers Maurice and Armand who insisted on allowing him to join the business and to take a role on the management team at Guess; I opposed the suggestion for a long time. However, I gave in to family pressure and Paul was eventually appointed Director in 1989," explained Georges Marciano.

The Guess brand was at the peak of its success under the direction of Georges Marciano between 1981 and 1993, and not that of his brothers after 1993. This was thanks in part to the brand's famous faded jeans, and their endorsement by notable fashion icons including Claudia Schiffer and Estelle Lefébure. Until his departure in 1993, the Guess brand was also closely linked to his own name, as demonstrated by the advertising campaigns and products of that era. This link between Georges Marciano and Guess persists today, as it is still possible to find counterfeit Guess by Georges Marciano. In contrast, the names of Paul, Maurice and Armand were never attached to any Guess products. For example, not even counterfeiters would see a value in producing Guess by Maurice, Paul, or Armand Marciano. It is important to note that Georges Marciano never sold his name to Guess, and he no longer has links to the brand he left in 1993.


SOURCE Georges Marciano