A brand that changed the rules of denim, but especially women’s need to live sensually without any fear celebrates its 35th anniversary
By Cristina Manfredi
What does a hamburger have to do with Claudia Schiffer? 1970s are almost over and the four Marciano brothers land in Los Angeles from France for a holiday that will change their lives for ever. They are mad about the American style, a mix of rock, country and folk accents, but they have the elegance of Saint-Tropez running through their veins, a bit like Brigitte Bardot, stuff like that.
Paul, Maurice, Georges and Armand, who in Europe worked in the family boutiques scattered throughout the French Riviera, decide to settle in California and challenge the market redesigning denim, a made in U.S.A. fashion symbol, but without a name. “Guess what’s in the new Mac?” insistently asked a McDonald’s payoff. And that is how Guess was created, a brand that celebrates its 35th anniversary this year, an entire life committed to the building of a voluptuous yet reachable feminine world.
The very making of stonewashed denim was something unconventional in 1982, as it was cutting it on the ankle and shaping it to make it tight. Describing it through advertising campaigns whose protagonists were hardly wearing bra could have been disastrous, but that’s how Guess has built its legend. Claudia Schiffer was unknown to many before she became the face of the brand in 1989. And also a girl like Eva Herzigova, whose success is linked to the historical 1994 Wonderbra campaign, had been discovered by Paul, today CEO and creative director of the brand, of which Maurice is president emeritus, while the other two brothers left the company.
However, there is something nice to remember on an important anniversary: with its curvy sensuality Guess contributed to setting women free from their obsession with thinness. And to helping them not feel in danger just because they like to be looked at. Through its foundation, the brand will support once again the Denim Day (this year on May 27th) launched in 2001 by the association Peace Over Violence to protest against those who justify rape if the victim’s outfit is sexy.