Throughout its 29 years in business, Guess Inc. has been able to keep its pulse on pop culture and capitalize on new trends. As one of the pioneers in the American designer denim industry, it understood how customers aspired to live a glamorous lifestyle as easily attainable as slipping into a pair of sexy jeans. It rounded up the most bodacious of the bombshells — Claudia Schiffer, Anna Nicole Smith, Drew Barrymore and Paris Hilton, to name a few — to pout, smolder and wear nearly nothing in its signature ads.
Then, in the Aughts, the Los Angeles-based company began shifting its focus from a wholesale-centric business to a retail-driven one, as it sensed opportunity, not to mention fatter profit margins, outside the consolidating ranks of its retail customers. It also expanded the footprint of its Guess-branded stores in Europe and Asia.
Anticipating the growing popularity of accessories, contemporary sportswear and fast fashion appealing to younger customers, the firm unveiled Guess Accessories, Guess by Marciano and G by Guess to cater to those respective markets. As of Oct. 31, it operated 1,186 stores worldwide. In its last fiscal year, it generated revenue of $2.09 billion, compared to $551.2 million in 1996, the year it went public.