Paul Marciano

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Paul Marciano
Born 1952
Nationality United States
Ethnicity Moroccan Jewish
Known for co- founder of Guess? Inc.
Religion Sephardi Judaism
Family Georges Marciano (brother)
Armand Marciano (brother)
Maurice Marciano (brother)

Paul Marciano (ca. 1952 in Debdou, Morocco [1]) is a Moroccan-born American fashion designer of Jewish[2] 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.

Early life[edit]

Paul Marciano was born in 1952 in Debdou, Morocco to a Jewish family and raised in Marseilles, France with his four siblings, Georges, Armand, Maurice and Jacqueline. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were rabbis.[3] 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.[4] At 15, he and a friend were involved in a motorcycle accident when they collided with an oncoming car.[5] After being told he would never walk again, he spent seven months in a wheelchair.[5] 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.[5]



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.[6]

Guess? Inc.[edit]

Main article: Guess? Inc.

In 1981, the Marciano brothers founded Guess Jeans. In 1983, they sold a 50% stake in Guess Jeans[7] to the Nakash Brothers (Joseph "Joe" Nakash, Abraham "Avi" Nakash, and Raphael "Ralph" Nakash) of New York.[7] The joint venture soured[8] and in 1989, a California superior court jury found that the Nakashes had fraudulently lured the Marcianos into the transaction.[9] 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."[7][10] Paul Marciano first handled advertising and public relations and later became president and chief operating officer of the company in 1993.[11] In 2004, Paul and Maurice Marciano together owned close to 70 percent of the 44 million shares.[12]

Other business activities[edit]

Along with his brother Maurice, Paul Marciano joined forces in 2013 with Steve Tisch and World Wrestling Entertainment in backing Hero Ventures, a Los Angeles entertainment start-up.[13]


In 2013, the Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation paid $8 million to buy the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard,[14] which the two brothers plan to turn into a private museum designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast.[15] With 90,000 square feet over four floors, it is almost as large as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles[16] and intended to house the Marcianos' 1,000-piece collection.[17] In order to avoid any conflicts of interest with Maurice Marciano's subsequent co-chairmanship of MOCA, the project was temporarily put on hold.[18]

In 2014, Paul and his brother Maurice donated $5.2 million to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.[19]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Nawar Shora (2008, p. 79)
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ [2][dead link]
  5. ^ a b c [3][dead link]
  6. ^ [4][dead link]
  7. ^ a b c "The Nakash Bros. – small clothes shop transformed into $2 billion empire" By Yehudit Haspel Ben-Dak, Jewish Business News, 20 February 2013
  8. ^ New York Times: "WHEN THE HONEYMOON ENDED" by LISA BELKIN 1 May 1986
  9. ^ BusinessWeek: "Whatever Happened to Jordache?" By Matthew Boyle and Lauren Coleman-Lochner 26 July 2012
  10. ^ Funding Universe; "Jordache Enterprises, Inc. History" retrieved 12 January 2013
  11. ^ Alison Leigh Cowan (4 August 1993), Guess? Jeans Chief to Quit, Sell Off Stake New York Times.
  12. ^ Tracie Rozhon (25 September 2004), Guess Tries to Regain Its Fabulousness New York Times.
  13. ^ Brooks Barnes (22 August 2013), Marvel Superheros to Start Touring Next Year New York Times.
  14. ^ Roger Vincent (24 July 2013), Bluejeans moguls to turn Masonic lodge in L.A. into a private museum Los Angeles Times.
  15. ^ Jori Finkel (16 September 2014), Fourth time’s a charm The Art Newspaper.
  16. ^ Ian Lovett (25 August 2013), A Bigger Closet for Their Art: Maurice and Paul Marciano, of Guess Jeans, Plan a Museum New York Times.
  17. ^ Christopher Knight (12 September 2014), Los Angeles' art world is bigger and wider Los Angeles Times.
  18. ^ Christopher Knight (12 September 2014), Los Angeles' art world is bigger and wider Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ "Hollywood gala raises a record $33 million for IDF". TIMES OF ISRAEL. 8 November 2014. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 

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