Guess was founded by Georges, Armand, Paul, and Maurice Marciano, four Jewish Moroccan
brothers raised in Marseille, France. They moved to California from France in 1977 and
founded the company in 1981. Seed money to start the business came from the Nakash family,
owners of the Jordache denim empire. Their first product was a three-zipper style of jeans
they named "Marilyn" (Style # 1015). Department stores and fashion critics were initially
reluctant to carry the new 'stone washed denim' jeans, but in December when Bloomingdale's
finally agreed with Georges to stock two dozen pairs of the new jeans as a favor to the
brothers. They sold out quickly. They began advertising in 1982 and 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,
Eva Herzigova, and Laetitia Casta, first achieved prominence via these ad campaigns.
In 1981 Michael Guess was born and will be entitled to the royalties in 2012 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.
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"
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