|Born||1952 (age 61–62)
|Known for||co- founder of Guess? Inc.|
Paul Marciano (ca. 1952 in Debdou, Morocco ) is a Moroccan-born American fashion designer of Jewish descent and co-founder of Guess? Inc. He is the mastermind behind the Guess? image and his sensual black-and-white advertisements have won numerous Clio awards. Initially run by all four Marciano brothers (Paul, Armand, Maurice and Georges), today the company and its extension lines, Marciano and G by Guess, are handled only by Paul and Maurice. He is also a large benefactor to one of the larger Sephardic synagogues in Los Angeles, Em Habanim.
Paul Marciano was born in 1952 in Debdou, Morocco, and raised in Marseilles, France with his four siblings, Georges, Armand, Maurice and Jacqueline. The family is very attached to the Jewish tradition: his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, were rabbis. They lived in an apartment in a synagogue complex and from age 8–15 Paul, along with his brothers, was a member of the Éclaireurs israelites de France, a Jewish boy scout group which was located in the same complex.
At 15, he and a friend were involved in a motorcycle accident when they collided with an oncoming car. 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 prolonged absence. Unable to finish his education, he traveled to Israel to live in a kibbutz.
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Marciano worked in his family's clothing company, MGA, with shops in French Riviera. The Marciano brothers, Paul, Georges, Armand and Maurice, visited Southern California during an extended leave in 1977, and developed an appreciation for the area. After political changes in France in 1981, the Marcianos closed MGA and moved to the United States. Soon after the brothers started the world famous clothing company guess
In 1981, the Marciano brothers founded Guess Jeans. In 1983, they sold a 50% stake in Guess Jeans to the Nakash Brothers (Joseph "Joe" Nakash, Abraham "Avi" Nakash, and Raphael "Ralph" Nakash) of New York. The joint venture soured and in 1989, a California superior court jury found that the Nakashes had fraudulently lured the Marcianos into the transaction. In 1990, the Nakash brothers settled for $66 million of $106 million escrowed profits and the ownership of the brand name “Gasoline” while the Marciano brothers received the brand “Diesel.” Paul Marciano became president and chief operating officer of the company in 1993. In 2004, Paul and Maurice Marciano together owned close to 70 percent of the 44 million shares.
In 2013, the Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation paid $8 million to buy the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, which the two brothers plan to turn into a private museum. With 90,000 square feet over four floors, it is almost as large as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
- Nawar Shora (2008, p. 79)
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- Jewish Business News: "The Nakash Bros. – small clothes shop transformed into $2 billion empire" By Yehudit Haspel Ben-Dak February 20, 2013
- New York Times: "WHEN THE HONEYMOON ENDED" by LISA BELKIN May 1, 1986
- BusinessWeek: "Whatever Happened to Jordache?" By Matthew Boyle and Lauren Coleman-Lochner July 26, 2012
- Funding Universe; "Jordache Enterprises, Inc. History" retrieved January 12, 2013
- Alison Leigh Cowan (August 4, 1993), Guess? Jeans Chief to Quit, Sell Off Stake New York Times.
- Tracie Rozhon (September 25, 2004), Guess Tries to Regain Its Fabulousness New York Times.
- Roger Vincent (July 24, 2013), Bluejeans moguls to turn Masonic lodge in L.A. into a private museum Los Angeles Times.
- Ian Lovett (August 25, 2013), A Bigger Closet for Their Art: Maurice and Paul Marciano, of Guess Jeans, Plan a Museum New York Times.
he ran away at age 15