His dream for Guess
INGRID SISCHY : Extraordinary. Extraordinary. Now, we ‘re on our last question . It ‘s divided into two parts . Sandy , I ‘m going to ask the first part and you do the second . Okay? So Paul, when you began — the very beginning, Paul Marciano , 15 or 16 years old, what was your most ambitious dream about the future and your future and your brother ‘s future. This is before you left Marseille.
PAUL MARCIANO : When we left Marseille, we had like 25 stores and we were doing like $ 6 million business – $ 7 million maybe. When we were meeting at night between the pizza and the salad with my brothers, we said, “Wow, if America is really the American dream, if one day we can do a business of the size of between $50 to $75 million and we have like 100 stores, that will be the end of the dream of the dream. “That was the dream . That was the dream, to have like one day 100 stores and 55 or 60 —
INGRID SISCHY : And how many stores do you have now?
PAUL MARCIANO : Today, we have 1,650 stores.
INGRID SISCHY: Whoa!
PAUL MARCIANO : It’s crazy .My goal will be in the next 5 years to go to 2,500.
SANDY BRANT : What is your most ambitious dream for the company?
PAUL 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 . I mean , I have seen so many companies with some great stories become history. I mean, like gone because they became overconfident or they became complacent or they believe that this was it. Every day we wake up, it’s a new challenge .Every day we wake up we have a new factor to deal with.
My dream will be that for the next decade for the 40 years, we will be here and people would still respect and love the brand of Guess, of what Guess has been the last 30 years. Very few companies started in the jeans business in Los Angeles, and many, many start here. You know that. We have so many brands of jeans in LA . Very few stayed more than 10 years in business. Very few stayed 20, and none stayed 30. None. There is not one. That’s an accomplishment for us, but that’s not what we look to. We look to the brand like Ralph Lauren , who has been 45 years or Levis . There are not that many.
If you look at a brand with lifestyle and global we ‘ll have like hundreds of stores in Europe, hundreds of stores in Asia, hundreds of stores in America . You ‘re going to end up with like maybe five names worldwide . Five.
SANDY BRANT : That ‘s incredible .
PAUL MARCIANO: We are one of the five, and our dream will be just to stay relevant . I cannot say it better than that . Just stay relevant and continue the dream to pass it one day to my kids or to the next management team, but to keep the respect of the brand, to keep the consistency of the brand, to keep the image of the brand. We have such an incredible archives that it would be hard to get out of that .
INGRID SISCHY : It ‘s incredible . Brilliant.
PAUL MARCIANO : Was simply dream on. Two words. dream on . And from there I could do an entire conference in Singapore for three days about dream on. It ‘s really simple, but people connected and walked away with that message, go home and said, “I dream on about my team, my work, my life, my friends, my family .” I dream on about this and they walk away to say, “My gosh, we have some guidance what to do here.”
INGRID SISCHY : That was a slogan you used at the One World Conference?
PAUL MARCIANO : It was inside the catalog with Usai .
PAUL MARCIANO : You know you had the same story with Gianni Versace. What a life he had and what a dream he had, this guy . It was ended so brutally and so senselessly .
INGRID SISCHY : I know. But you know, the really great you, Gianni, Karl, it’s this passion and this dreaming . It’s unbelievable.
PAUL MARCIANO : Look at Miuccia Prada, the dream of the family business and look at what she did.
INGRID SISCHY : It’s unbelievable .But I mean , these are amazing stories — really amazing . Thank you, thank you.