MONTREAL, April 14, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Georges Marciano, the original founder of GUESS, is absolutely shocked by a series of false statements he discovered in March 2022, in a YouTube video called “The #GUESS Brand Story: Told By Paul & Maurice Marciano“. The story as told and the account of events as recited are plainly wrong, according to Georges Marciano. “Paul makes outrageous false claims about the inception, he history of GUESS and its own involvement therein. He is taking undue credit and is distorting reality in a very concerning way, on the verge of impersonation”, says Georges Marciano.
In order to set the record straight – and leave a legacy for his kids – Georges Marciano recalls the true and original story of GUESS:
“I started making ties in Marseille with the label Georges Marciano. My first store in Marseille was called Blow Up – in ready-to-wear, it was later renamed MGA, for Maurice Georges Armand, the first initials of my two brothers and me.
Later, I opened 4 stores on the harbour of Bandol-Cassis-Toulon, etc.
I came on vacation from Bandol to LA in 1977 with my friend Philippe Mevellec, for a week, at the Hilton in Beverly Hills. When we got back to Bandol, I told my two brothers, Armand and Maurice, that I wanted to go back to California to try my luck with Philippe and open a store for the Mackeen brand, a very well-known jeans brand in Marseille, whose owner was a friend – David Mechaly. We left a month later with very little money and found a small place to rent in Century city in Beverly Hills. Philippe and I found a small apartment in Westwood where we were staying for almost a year. We decorated the shop ourselves with wooden shelves and the sign was Mackeen (in large print). Immediate success.
A friend from Bandol came to join us, Alain Grosso, with his wife Noëlle.
Around 1979, my brother Maurice joined me in LA to open an MGA (Maurice-Georges-Armand) store, which I had founded in Marseille a few years earlier.
The MGA store finally opened in Beverly Hills. I had the idea of making a brand of jeans. So I found a collaborator, Georges Atlan, who worked in the jeans industry in LA. Paul was still in France with Armand for almost 2 years. They both arrived in LA in 1981.
I found a small room of 800 sq-ft. on the twelfth floor of a building in downtown LA, on Broadway Street. In the same building was Gene Montesano and Jeff Hamilton, it was very fun. My suite was 1201-1203. Georges Atlan was my partner in the company called Via Europa, where I owned 80% and Atlan the rest.
My ex-wife, Melinda, came to help us every day.
The first label we created was called Blue Way, but this label is not popular. Going downtown, on Olympic Blvd with my friend Atlan, a billboard bearing the title “GUESS WHAT IS THE BEST HAMBURGER? BIG BOY” catches my attention every morning. I hardly spoke English at the time. I asked my friend what “GUESS” meant in French and as he answered, I said “GUESS what?” as for him to tell me again: that’s when I finally understood the meaning of GUESS. I found the word fabulous because it is pronounced in the same way in all languages.
We therefore took the decision to change the name Blue Way for the name GUESS. As I needed a logo, I simply used the traffic stop sign as an inspiration, which became the famous red and white triangle. An employee who worked with us suggested we put a question mark in the logo: the GUESS label was born! Immediate success. Then I asked my brother Maurice to come and help since he was very strong in manufacturing. Shortly after, my big brother Armand came to help us too.
My friend Atlan gave me back his 20% of the company, which I had given him for free, and about a year later I gave Maurice and Armand 40% of the new GUESS company.
This is therefore the real start of the company. Paul never participated in the creation of the company. Armand and Maurice gave shares to Paul, despite my objections. It was only in 1989 that Paul was admitted to the board of directors of GUESS.”
Georges Marciano considers that “history has its eyes on us: liars will be recalled as liars and even worst. The GUESS story is a great story, and it deserves truth and respect.”
SOURCE Georges Marciano