Beauty

WHY GUESS IS AHEAD OF THE CURVE

5 reasons why the mega-brand has been getting it right for the past 30 years

Photo courtesy of Guess

Guess by Marciano Spring/Summer ’11

Guess by Marciano Spring/Summer ’11

This season, fashion seems to have caught on to something Guess has known all along: Women are sexy. Seems like an undeniable fact when one flips through the Guess archives to see the curvy, sensual models they’ve had as the face of their brand for years — from Claudia Schiffer to Anna Nicole Smith — and now their most recent addition, Alyssa Miller, who fronts the newest fragrance.

FLARE’s Editor-In-Chief Lisa Tant went to Florence to go one-on-one with the gorgeous model, as well as Guess co-founder Paul Marciano, to find out who the Guess girl really is and what lies beneath the top note of her new go-to scent.

1)    GUESS KNOWS WHICH MODELS WILL APPEAL TO WOMEN

Paul Marciano: “I have animal instincts—I can smell things, I can feel things, I can sense things. And when I don’t have the right girl for Guess, I notice right away.  I always see it—for Anna (Nicole Smith), for Claudia (Schiffer), for Alyssa (Miller), for anyone that I’ve worked with. None of the girls I worked with had done a campaign—they were always unknown.

2)    GUESS KNOWS THAT WOMEN HAVE CURVES

PM: [The fashion industry] realized that it’s the wrong message to tell women to continue to be skinnier and skinnier and obsessed with an image that [does] not reflect [the] reality of life. It’s wrong. A woman should assume who she is, no matter how she is. That’s why I found Anna Nicole Smith; she was like 6’1, a 38 DDD size chest, but so beautiful. And I told her, “Don’t try to lose weight, don’t try to be a model, stay who you are.” She stayed and the pictures we did with her were stunning. That’s a woman.

Alyssa Miller: There are so many adjectives you could use to describe The Guess Girl. I think confidence is number one. Sexiness, but also effortlessness—it’s just there, it’s natural. There’s a bit of playfulness and a little bit of eccentricity. It’s all about celebrating women, their curves and their individuality.

3)    GUESS KNOWS WHAT’S SEXY

PM: A woman who doesn’t wear a dress or have a dress in her wardrobe, I think is wrong. She has to feel feminine. I think it’s a key element for a woman. It’s part of the seduction of a boyfriend, husband, girl, fiancée, whatever. That’s crucial. And French lingerie…. And I think the fragrance is an important element. The dress, the underwear and the fragrance are all the weapons you need to seduce a man.

4)    GUESS UNDERSTANDS THE POWER OF PERFUME

PM: It’s like an incredible accessory – we have watches, we have shoes, we have handbags – and the presentation of the fragrance with the fruit and the flowers was a really good [match].

AM: I think fragrance really helps a woman with confidence. When you’re walking out the front door, you want that little extra something and a spritz of perfume will really help [lend] a little extra confidence.

5)    GUESS KNOWS GOOD IMAGERY (AND WHY CANADIANS ROCK)

PM: Canadians, by nature, are the nicest people I work with. They’re so open, friendly, good-natured [and] easy to work with. But they are also very creative, like my close friend [and Guess photographer] Bryan Adams.

Bryan sent me his book three times saying he wanted to do a Guess campaign, but I didn’t know he was a signer! I don’t watch TV – I work, work, work. Three months later, my sister-in-law walks into the restaurant that him and I are at and she says, “That’s Bryan Adams, the singer!” and I said, “No, no. He’s a photographer.” And she said, “Paul, I’m from Canada. I know him.” So I go back to the table and say to him, “So it’s your first job, how much do you think I’m going to pay you?” He said, “Whatever you want, I’m fine…I want to do it so whatever you say is fine with me.” I said, “Wow! How do you do for a living?” He said, “Oh, I sing also.”

He’s a huge guy. Huge! But, all that matters is the image.