Guess: the world of Guess

November 20, 2021

There are 231 Guess store locations in the United States and 38 store locations in Canada.

In 1981, the four Marciano brothers–Georges, Maurice, Armand and Paul– from the South of France came to Los Angeles on a family vacation. They quickly fell in love with the city and decided to make it their new home.

The Marciano brothers forayed into the world of denim and founded GUESS. They kicked off their business with a line of stone-washed, slick and sexy jeans. Today, their jeans and accessories are a global lifestyle brand. They sent a pair of jeans and a handwritten note to selected department stores. Bloomingdales loved the jeans and ordered 24 pairs, which sold out within a few hours. GUESS jeans were headed for success.

Today, GUESS has over 1,500 retail stores worldwide and caters to men, women, and children. In addition to their much-loved jeans, the GUESS line of products includes jewelry, fragrances, eyewear, shoes, handbags and more.

Georges was determined to sell GUESS’s line of products only in the more exclusive stores, such as Bloomingdales. However, Maurice insisted that GUESS products be given a broader distribution, which included discount stores. The two brothers could not come to an agreement and, completely frustrated, Georges sold his stake in the company to his brothers in September 1993 for $214.2 million.

One by one the brothers left the company, Armand quietly after a medical leave; Maurice entered retirement in 2015. Finally, only Paul remained on the GUESS board.

Can you guess how GUESS got its name?
Georges came up with the company name after driving past a McDonald’s billboard asking drivers to “guess” which eatery had the biggest cheeseburger. Strange, but true.

1980 GUESS ankle-zipper jeans

In just one year, sales through Bloomingdale’s and GUESS’s Beverly Hills store hit $6 million. GUESS soon began advertising, and in 1985, introduced some award-winning black-and-white ads. Their ads featured supermodels such as Claudia Schiffer, Anna Nicole Smith and Eva Herzigova.

In the 1985 movie, Back to the Future, the character, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) wore GUESS denim clothing.

The first GUESS jeans were for women, and in 1983, a men’s line debuted. In 1984, GUESS introduced a line of baby clothes, called “Baby Guess.”

In 2005, Guess began marketing  GUESS for Women perfume and in 2006 introduced GUESS for Men.

Gloria Sauvé
Communications and Marketing

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