Guess (clothing)

Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Guess, Inc.
TypePublic
NYSEGES
S&P 600 Component
IndustryFashion
Founded1981; 41 years ago (1981)
FoundersGeorges Marciano, Maurice Marciano, Paul Marciano, Armand Marciano[1][2][3][4][5][6]
Headquarters
Number of locations
484 (April 2011)[7]
Key people
Georges Marciano, original founder (subsequently sold all of his shares to his brothers),
Carlos Alberini, CEO,
Paul Marciano, Executive Chairman of the Board and Chief Creative Officer
Maurice Marciano, Director and Chairman Emeritus
ProductsClothing accessories
RevenueIncrease US$2.4 billion (2018)[8]
Decrease US$22.7 million (2016)
Number of employees
14,701 (2020)
Websitewww.guess.com
The Guess emblem with the famous question mark in the center.

Guess (styled as GUESS or Guess?) is an American clothing brand and retailer, producing clothing for men and women. Guess markets other fashion accessories such as watches, jewelry, perfumes, bags and shoes.

History

1980–present

Guess began in 1981 as a book of styles started by Georges, Maurice, Armand, and Paul Marciano. The brothers switched to selling jeans, with a light, form-fitting denim.[9][10]

Guess’s denim jeans products were officially launched in late 1981. In the 1985 Robert Zemeckis movie, Back to the Future, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) wore Guess’s denim clothing,[11] which was reportedly designed specifically for the film.[12]

The company was one of the first companies to create designer jeans. In 1984, Guess introduced its new line of watches known as "Guess", "Guess Steel", and the "Guess Collection". In 1984, they also introduced a line of baby's clothes, called "Baby Guess".[12][13] Georges abruptly sold his stake in the company to his brothers in September, 1993 for $214.2 million.[14]

Guess store in the Philippines
Guess sneaker animation
Guess in Toronto

In the 1990s, Milica, Aleksia and Milos[15] had 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, to showcase what the pattern really looked like) as well as a number of towel collections. By the end of the decade, sales dropped and Guess discontinued their home division.[16]

On January 26, 2001, Guess Inc. restated previous results for fiscal 2000 after deciding to write down impaired inventory.[17] 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.[18]

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 continued 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 managed 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.[citation needed]

In 2012, 23 years after first posing for the brand, supermodel Claudia Schiffer posed again for Guess' black-and-white ads marking the brand's 30th anniversary.[19]

In 2015, it was announced that founder Paul Marciano will be stepping down from his position as CEO with Victor Herrero as his carefully selected replacement, in August of that same year.[20]

In 2017, Camila Cabello was announced as the new face of Guess.[21]

As of 2018, Jennifer Lopez is the new face of Guess.[22]

In 2019, it was announced that Victor Herrero will be stepping down from his position as CEO with Carlos Alberini selected as his replacement, in February 2019.[23]

Controversy

Sweatshop allegations

During the 1980s, Guess was accused of using underground sweatshop contractors in Los Angeles.[24] Initially, the company threatened to close or move its operations in factories where employers complained of sweatshop practices.[25] In 1992, Guess contractors faced litigation from the US Department of Labor (DOL) due to failure to pay their employees the minimum wage or adequate overtime. Rather than face a court case, $573,000 in back wages were paid to employees.[26][27] The company also agreed to be subjected to a voluntary monitoring agreement with DOL to prevent sweatshop practices among its subcontractors.[28] Guess earned a place on the labor department's 'Trendsetters List', but this position was suspended several years later in 1996 after independent inspectors found violations of regulations at seven of the company's contractors.[29]

In the same year, the company was sued by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE), again due to the failure to pay the minimum wage or overtime to workers. The settlement, supervised by the US Department of Labor, saw the reinstatement of 8 workers found to have been illegally fired and another $80,000 in back pay given to workers. Almost immediately after the settlement, Guess announced that it was moving its sewing production to Mexico. The company denied that the move was related to these court cases, but its public image continued to suffer.[30][31]

Throughout the 1990s, UNITE continued a public relations campaign against Guess, focusing on the experiences of former employees. Billboards subsequently appeared in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York City featuring a photograph of Rage Against the Machine with the caption "Rage Against Sweatshops: We Don't Wear Guess – A Message from Rage Against The Machine and UNITE. Injustice. Don't buy it."[32] Eventually, Guess[33] countered with a defamation suit against Unite and several of its officials, while in 1997 the company ran full-page ads in many major American newspapers claiming that its contractors were "guaranteed 100% free of sweatshop labour". The wording of these ads was changed after federal authorities complained that the claims had not been made by anyone in the government and had no official status. Guess especially began expanding in the less competitive and increasingly lucrative European and Japanese markets.

"Ski Colombia: Always Plenty of Fresh Powder" T-shirts

In 2005, Guess pulled a line of T-shirts from the market after Erika Becker-Medina,[34] a D.C. area resident and government employee, spearheaded a campaign calling for the boycott of the company. "Ski Colombia: Always Plenty of Fresh Powder" was embossed on the T-shirts which were released by the company in the second quarter of 2005, apparently in reference to Colombia's drug-trafficking problem. Guess distributed letters of apology.[35]

Gucci logo infringement

In 2009, Italian luxury brand Gucci accused Guess of counterfeiting and trademark infringing the Gucci logo and the interlocking G's which appear on pairs of Guess shoes. In 2012 Gucci got $4.7 million for the damages; originally, the Italian brand wanted $221 million.[36]

References

  1. ^ Article in Encyclopedia.com 2006 Thomson Gale accessed 7 February 2017
  2. ^ Article in PR Newswire 2009 Ashby Jones accessed 8 November 2017
  3. ^ Article in Wall Street Journal 2015 PR Newswire accessed 8 November 2017
  4. ^ Article in Forbes 1 July 2015 accessed 7 February 2017
  5. ^ Article in Wall Street Journal 28 November 2016 accessed 7 February 2017
  6. ^ Article in The Economic Times 31 December 2014 accessed 7 February 2017
  7. ^ "GUESS?, INC. REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS". Archived from the original on 2012-07-13.
  8. ^ "Company general information". craft.co.
  9. ^ Article in "apparelnews.net" 2 July 2014 accessed 7 February 2017
  10. ^ Article in "fashionista.com" 5 April 2011 accessed 7 February 2017
  11. ^ Brockes, Emma (10 April 2009). "Emma Brockes talks to Michael J Fox about Parkinson's disease" – via www.theguardian.com.
  12. ^ a b "Guess, Inc. Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  13. ^ "Guess kids". Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  14. ^ Article in Los Angeles Times 14 July 2015 accessed 7 February 2017
  15. ^ "History of Guess, Inc. – FundingUniverse". www.fundinguniverse.com.
  16. ^ "Guess Profile". Fashion Model Directory. Retrieved 5 February 2012.
  17. ^ "Guess? warns of Q4 loss, weaker-than-expected 2001". Dow Jones Reuters.
  18. ^ Sofroina Timmons. "GUESS! Who? GUESS by Marciano!". Archived from the original on 2018-08-12. Retrieved 2012-02-06.
  19. ^ Krupnick, Ellie (28 March 2012). "PHOTOS: Claudia Schiffer Returns To Guess For 30th Anniversary". Huffington Post.
  20. ^ "Guess founder Marciano to step down as CEO". LA Biz.
  21. ^ "Camila Cabello Just Did the ONE Thing She Never Did With Fifth Harmony". Teen Vogue. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  22. ^ "Jennifer Lopez announced new face of Guess Spring 2018 campaign". Grazia Australia. Retrieved 2018-11-30.
  23. ^ "Guess CEO Victor Herrero to step down". Reuters. 28 January 2019.
  24. ^ Mize, Ronald L.; Swords, Alicia C. S. (2010). Consuming Mexican Labor: From the Bracero Program to NAFTA. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-1-4426-0158-1.
  25. ^ Ross, Andrew (1997). No Sweat: Fashion, Free Trade and the Rights of Garment Workers. New York: Verso. p. 212. ISBN 978-1-85984-172-3.
  26. ^ "Guess? What". New Internationalist Magazine. 5 June 1998. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  27. ^ "All in the Jeans". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  28. ^ Milkman, Ruth (2006). L.A. Story: Immigrant Workers and the Future of the U.S. Labor Movement. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. p. 165. ISBN 0-87154-635-3.
  29. ^ Justice, National Interfaith Committee for Worker (1998). Cross Border Blues: A Call for Justice for Maquiladora Workers in Tehuacán. National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice. p. 1.
  30. ^ White, Michael (August 15, 1977). "Guess? what: Sweatshop labor upsets union-backed students". Daily Press (Victorville, California). Associated Press. p. D2. Retrieved February 10, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  31. ^ White, Michael (October 9, 1977). "Guess? looks to Mexico to beat heat". St. Cloud Times (St. Cloud, Minnesota). Associated Press. p. 6C. Retrieved February 10, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.
  32. ^ "RATM: timeline". 21 November 2007. Archived from the original on 21 November 2007.
  33. ^ "404 - Soubor nebo adresář nebyl nalezen". www.skmoda.sk. Archived from the original on 2012-03-21. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  34. ^ "Guess Clothing Stores Quit Selling Drug T-Shirt".
  35. ^ "Guess Who's Unhappy With the IRS?". Brown & Company. Retrieved 6 February 2012.
  36. ^ "Gucci and Guess End Nine-Year Trademark Dispute". The Business of Fashion. 2018-04-19. Retrieved 2019-09-04.

External links

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