By  on May 18, 2011

Reinvention has been key to Guess Inc.’s success.

When the company was founded in 1981, the thinking then was: Who needs another brand? There were numerous jeans on the market, such as JouJou and Bonjour, with embroidered back pockets.

“We came with stonewash that no one else had in the U.S. At the beginning, all the laundries kicked us out. We were breaking every machine. We put pumice stones in the pockets, and the machines were breaking every two weeks,” said Paul Marciano, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Guess Inc.

Marciano recalled the 30-year history of Guess with humor and pride. The company, whose worldwide revenues in the year ended Jan. 29 fell just shy of $2.5 billion, has had its ups and downs but has managed to not only survive but flourish in a challenging retail environment.


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