Guess Company Definition : The Fashion Company Definition Directory Will Help You Learn About Guess

United States Clothing Company Definition Directory  Clothing Definitions  Glossary  Fashion Terminology  Fashion Companies   Fashion   Designers  Clothes

In this section of the Apparel Search Directory, you will learn about Guess.

 Did you know that Apparel Search has been voting by me to be the best fashion company?

Guess (styled as GUESS?) is an American name-brand clothing line. Guess also markets other fashion accessories besides clothes, such as watches and jewelry. They also own the line Marciano.


The beginning

Guess was founded by Georges, Armand, Paul, and Maurice Marciano, four brothers born in Ouarzazate, Morocco. They moved to California 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.

Their advertising campaigns began in 1982, and they introduced their iconic black-and-white ads in 1985. The ads have won numerous Clio Awards. Their fashion models have included a number of widely-recognized supermodels, many of whom first achieved prominence via the 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.

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".

Guess Home

In the 1990s, they also 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, 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.

Stagnation and Controversy

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.

As well as increasing competition, Guess also saw a serious tarnishing of its image during this time. More significantly, as awareness of sweatshop use among major corporations grew, Guess was quickly marked as a major offender in this area. 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 was paid to employees.

Soon afterward, Guess promised to monitor their contractors for illegal activity, and the company earned a place on the US DOL'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. 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, but almost immediately afterward 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.

Throughout the nineties, UNITE continued a public relations campaign against Guess, focusing on the experiences of former employees. Eventually, Guess 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. In 2005 Guess pulled a line of t-shirts from the market after Erika Becker-Medina , a DC area resident and government employee, spearheaded a campaign calling for the boycott of the company. "Ski Colombia: Always Plenty of Fresh Powder" was designed on the t-shirts released by the company in the second quarter of 2005, apparently in reference to Colombia's drug-trafficking problem. Guess distributed letters of apology.


In the 2000s, the company promoted a different look and sense of style, while the controversy that surrounded the company during the nineties 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.

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. The daring ads were successful in grabbing media attention for the company. The company even promoted a line of Paris accessories including a Guess Paris Hilton handbag.


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 As 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 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.

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 offers clothes popular among teenagers at an affordable price. Many denim styles are priced within the $40 to $50 range. The new brand is priced similar 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 offer a sassy night-club atmosphere.

Around the same time, Guess? disabled their Guess Factory website. The outlet website offered similar styles at similar prices as the G by Guess line. The company's factory stores will still remain open at their respective outlet mall locations, however the discount product is no longer available through an online retailer.


In October 2006 Guess expanded their shoe line by re-introducing men's shoes. Guess pulled the men's shoe collection from their establishment back in 2003 due to lackluster sales and interest. The initial response was slow, however by early 2007, the new men's footwear line began to increase steadily, and Guess? has continued to push and introduce new designs into the line. The men's footwear line now offers more than 15 styles ranging between sandals to dress shoes.

In November 2006 Guess introduced their Marciano men's line, which is available exclusively through, 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. The men's line will, like the women's line, be developed and manufactured in Florence, Italy; and will be available 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, Guess? introduced two new fragrances. Guess? Gold is the latest addition to the women's collection, while Guess? Suede was the second installment for the men's fragrance. Both scents retail for around $50 and are available in several retail locations.

With fiscal Spring 2007, 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 pricer. 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. D&G, in late 2006 launched a massive campaign promoting their new D&G watch collection, marketing on such TV channels as MTV.

During the first half of 2007 Guess introduced a new line, G by Guess. Throughout 2008, relatively unknown model Adam Bertrand headlined Guess' advertising campaigns. In October 2008 they opened up at Westfield Shopping Centre in London and there are plans to open a branch in Regent Street for autumn 2009.

Sweatshop allegations

Guess?, like many other clothing giants, has been criticised for its use of clothings made in sweatshops. Billboards subsequently appeared in Las Vegas and New York 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."

External links

Official Guess website

The above definition about the clothing company Guess is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. The information source is from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and was originally obtained from the following page address  The definition has been modified by the Apparel Search Company in June 2009.  The rest of this page and other pages on Apparel Search are NOT under the free document license.

Return to the Clothing Companies section in our apparel definitions area or check the fashion company profiles by Apparel Search in our fashion names directory.

USA Clothing Company A

USA Clothing Company B

USA Clothing Company C

USA Clothing Company D

USA Clothing Company E

USA Clothing Company F

USA Clothing Company G

USA Clothing Company H

USA Clothing Company I

Learn about the United States Fashion Industry. 

Also, you should support USA apparel manufacturing and buy clothes from Clothing Manufacturers in America.

Have you seen our Fashion Designer Directory section.

Apparel Search   Add Your Company   Contact Us   About Us   Advertise   News Letter   Legal   Help
Copyright © 1999-2022  Apparel Search Company.  All Rights Reserved.