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Fashion’s Best Guess

Paul Marciano’s creative vision and stewardship of the Guess brand has had an undeniable impact on the fashion world

Founded by French Moroccan brothers Georges, Maurice, Armand and Paul Marciano in 1981, Guess was first known for its denim but soon evolved into a global fashion brand. The label garnered instant attention by featuring up-and-coming model Claudia Schiffer in a black lace bustier in a 1990 ad campaign. The model appeared in six campaigns between 1989 and 1991 and returned for the brand’s 30th anniversary. “Guess will always have a soft spot in my heart, and I’m excited that 23 years later, we can still work together so successfully,” Schiffer told WWD.

Over the decades, Guess has amassed a roster of stellar actors, models and musicians to star in its campaigns, including Amber Heard, Drew Barrymore, Naomi Campbell, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Carla Bruni, winning the brand numerous Clio Awards. Chief creative officer Paul Marciano art directs the brand’s marketing and guides the creative vision. This includes the brand’s decision to use black-and-white images for its advertising as photographed by artists like Ellen von Unwerth, Wayne Maser and Herb Ritts. “I have been so blessed to have worked with many of the greatest fashion photographers and designers who have produced images which have been so important throughout my career, but that special combination with Ellen von Unwerth and Paul Marciano for Guess was amazing,” Naomi Campbell told WWD.

Guess’ iconic triangle logo

In 1993, Marciano tapped young model Vickie Smith, who had been featured on the cover of Playboy, as the brand’s newest face. After her Guess debut, she changed her name to Anna Nicole Smith and her career exploded. Years later, Marciano spotted another young model who would go on to worldwide fame: Gigi Hadid. As a toddler, Hadid modeled for Guess Kids and, in 2012, the then-17-year-old model returned to front the brand’s main line.

In June, music superstar J Balvin teamed up with the brand to create a 50-piece capsule collection inspired by his latest album, Colores. Jennifer Lopez also returned as the face of the brand this year after starring in its spring 2018 campaign.

A$AP Rocky with Paul in 2017

For fall, the brand is returning to its roots with its Guess Originals collection. Drawing inspiration from past styles such as 1990s-era denim cargo pants and retro track jackets, the capsule features 24 men’s pieces and 10 women’s pieces. The collection embraces a nostalgic energy that’s echoed in the shoot photographed by Sam Dameshek, with creative direction by the company’s director of brand partnerships, Nicolai Marciano.