about paul marciano

“Guess will always be loyal and true to its roots.”

Eearly Life

Paul Marciano was born in 1952 in Debdou, Morocco and was raised in Marseilles, France with his four siblings: Georges, Armand, Maurice and Jacqueline.

He comes from a long family of rabbis.  His father was a rabbi in Marseilles from 1954 until about 1986. They all grew up in an apartment inside a synagogue complex. Paul was the one who was supposed to continue the rabbi’s legacy and was sent to a special school, far from home- however he ran away from there and realized it wasn’t his destiny.

He was sent to a school closer to home but was unable to finish his education because of an accident he had at age 15, with a friend, both on a motorcycle and they were crushed by a speeding vehicle. After being told he would never walk again, he spent seven months in a wheelchair.  He eventually regained full use of his limbs after a year and a half, but was not re-accepted into school due to his long absence.

This made him travel to Israel and to live in a kibbutz.

When Paul was 17 years old, he came back to Marseilles and started working as a salesman in a jeans store, and on Saturdays and Sundays he worked in a club checking coats alongside his brothers Georges – who was at the front door and Maurice – who was at the bar.

The Brothers Marciano, 1980

The Marciano brothers go into business together 

At that time, Georges, his brother, started to design ties. Maurice started to work with him manufacturing the ties, and Paul would sell the designs in Paris, going back and forth, until he sold them all. Ties led to blouses for women. One style, one size, one color: all-white.

Their success led to the opening of their company MGA – Maurice, Georges, Armand.
They opened their first store in 1973 in Bandol, on a side street, in an old fish store.
They continue with the blouses and started to manufacture dresses the same as they did with the blouses: one size, one style, different fabrics, and different prints. Then they continue to make pants and then jeans. They started selling stonewashed jeans back in 1976 while having twenty stores already.

On October 1977 the brothers went for a week-and-a-half vacation at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in L.A. they eventually stayed for a month and a half. Before they left, they bought a condominium and signed leases for two stores. Three weeks later Georges came back and stayed there with Maurice. Two years later, after wrapping up their business in France, Armand and Paul arrived.

Paul and his brothers left France in 1981 for a few reasons, including a tax dispute with the French officials and anti-Semite. They did so while barely knowing how to speak English. Maurice was the only one who spoke it, because he learned it at school.

Armand, Maurice and Paul Marciano


Guess started in December 1981 by Georges and Maurice first. Meanwhile Armand and Paul were managing the retail operations of MGA- that had 4 stores in the USA. They joined Guess a couple of months later.

The name Guess came to Georges while the brothers were driving to work together, like they did every day, and saw a huge billboard that said “GUESS what’s in the new big mac?” The biggest word was Guess, and that’s how Georges came up with the name. Maurcio came up with the question mark.

In 1982 Paul and Armand joined their brothers. That’s when Paul decided to do the advertising for the company. He started with a low budget and the help of his friends.

In just one year, sales came up to $6M

Guess grew very fast and in 1984 Jordache offered them to become partners and they agreed. From then on things didn’t work out with the partnership with Jordache and in 1989, after a long legal feud, a California superior court jury found that Jorsache and the owners had fraudulently lured the Marcianos into the transaction. They separated forces in 1990.

In 1993 Paul became the president and chief operating officer of the company.

In 2004, Paul and Maurice Marciano together owned close to 70 percent of the 44 million shares.

In August 2015, Paul Marciano stepped down as the CEO of Guess. He became Executive Chairman and remained Guess’ chief creative officer.

In 2017 Paul and his brother Maurice founded the Marciano Art Foundation as an exhibition space to display their 1,500-piece collection of contemporary art.
The museum located on Wilshire Boulevard in the Mid-Wilshire neighborhood of Los Angeles, California and it’s a non-profit arts foundation

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Paul Marciano’s Family Life

Paul has been married twice. He married his first wife, Kymberly, in 1994.  She was a model and photographer. They had two children: Ella (born 1994) and Nicolai (born 1996).

In 2016, he married French model, Mareva Georges, Miss Tahiti 1990 and Miss France 1991, in Bora Bora. They have two children, Ryan (born 2006) and Gia (born 2012) and live in Los Angeles.  Mareva Georges works as an advocate for the protection of children and women from abuse

Paul and Gia Marciano
"My most ambitious dream for the company after 30 years is to really work super-hard for the next 10 years to just be relevant"
Paul marciano

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