Is Guess a Good Brand? (We Reveal the Inside Scoop)

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is Guess a Good Brand

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Last Updated on December 18, 2021

Us 90s kids grew up gluing hot Guess campaign pages to our walls. Maybe you even recycled those pages from high-end magazines like me…The glossy Vogue double-page spreads taking over your walls each season and earning you dubious glances from your conservative parents…

And they were kind of right too. 

Looking back on the risky images Guess has always used to present their muses and campaign starlets, it is no wonder that many parents were nothing short of scandalized. 

Never mind the polemic… Thanks to their risky marketing campaigns, Guess was the epitome of sexy allure and the femme fatale iconography during the 90s. We all wanted it, even if it was the Guess logo basic t-shirt, check out this classic Guess t-shirt on Amazon! Were they good? We definitely thought so then!

But, what does it mean to be a good brand in this day and age? Is being popular, having a huge follower count, and being celebrity-approved the parameters by which we guarantee a brand their presence in our Instagram feed? 

Do we know enough about what Guess offers in their range of products to judge if it is a good brand? Read on to find out!

Overview of the Brand

Guess, also styled as GUESS, is one of the most recognized and biggest American fashion brands and retailers. They produce clothing for men and women, accessories (watches, scarves, sunglasses), jewelry, bags, shoes, and perfumes

Their designer jeans are one of their most iconic and loved products. Without a doubt, their logo is instantly recognized on a global scale. 

Brief History of the Brand

Pursuing the American Dream, Guess was created in 1981 by the Marciano brothers. George was in charge of the design, Maurice took care of product development, Armand ran distribution and Paul created the advertisement campaigns. Inspired by their European upbringing, they redefined the ultimate American product: denim.

Guess went on to become an aspirational brand pretty much thanks to their stonewashed slim-fitting jeans, like this pair on Amazon. Bloomingdales was the first high-end department store that carried their jeans. As the story goes, the 12 pairs they had ordered, vanished from their shelves in a few hours. 

From the start, Guess became a symbol of youth, adventure, and sexuality. Their iconic and timeless campaigns, famously in black and white, turned unknown faces into famous international models. 

In 2004, they opened up Marciano to cater to the new retail concept, offering fashion-forward clothes for trend-setting individuals. Later on, in 2007, they also created G by Guess with a stronger and defined Southern California aesthetic thanks to their love for the California lifestyle. By 2015, the only Marciano brother that remained behind the company was Paul Marciano. 

Guess in the 90s

After Guess conquered the 80s, dressing Marty McFly in Back to the Future with their signature denim clothing and expanded into accessories, men, and watches collections, they turned their eyes towards the home department. 

In 1990, they opened Guess Home, creating upscale bedding collections that appealed to a youthful public. They were the first to package their sheet, duvet, and pillowcase pair in packaging that was actually made from the same cloth. Their aim was true, they showed what the sheeting material really looked and felt like. 

Meanwhile, their campaigns continued to soar in popularity, portraying many soon-to-be international icons thanks to Paul Marciano’s sharp eye for beauty and talent. 

Right after Carla Bruni in 1987, he signed Claudia Schiffer in 1989 and she became the quintessential Guess girl, setting a high bar for all who would follow. Eva Herzigova was chosen in 1992 thanks to how much she resembled Marilyn Monroe and became an unforgettable Guess girl as well. Anna Nicole Smith came that same year, with a more sensual and mysterious vibe. Her European charm was superbly seductive! 

In 1993, Drew Barrymore became Guess’ muse. She was a fresh face ex-child actress and she revealed her sensual side for the first time as part of the Guess campaigns. 

Laetitia Casta in 1997 and Amber Heard in 2011, were some of the most provocative muses that grazed the Guess photos. They also featured Adriana Lima, Irina Shayk, Kate Upton, and Paris Hilton. All of these campaigns proved prophetic, and it became part of the brand’s lore that they showcased the top beauties that would go on to become global hits, like Gigi Hadid. 

Read:

We Rated Loads of 90s Clothing Brands (Check it Out!)

Why Tommy Hilfiger is a Must Know 90s Brand

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Is Guess Still a Popular Brand?

Yes, very much so! Guess is still a super popular global lifestyle brand with a full range of denim, apparel, and accessories that sells in over 80 countries around the world. Their presence in Europe and the United States is as strong as ever, despite the controversy their campaigns have generated over the years and particularly in the current feminist culture. 

Although it is not easy for a brand to stay relevant, especially in today’s day and age, Guess has managed to stick to its roots and continue crafting coveted pieces. Their Guess jackets with embroideries and their iconic denim Guess dress continue to be staples that are recognized the world over. 

Is Guess a High-End Brand?

Guess is not an haute couture brand, however, they are most definitely high-end. Their luxury collection is quite expensive, and their ready-to-wear line is affordable but not budget-friendly. They also don’t have a sales tab anywhere on their page, advertising short-term discounts in a delicate manner or via email campaigns. Definitely high class, no?

Is Guess a Good Brand for For Women?

Guess offers a wide range of beautiful products for women. Their 90s inspired guess coats in leather and fine wool are superbly elegant and stylish. 

Get the look:

GUESS Women’s Plaid Wool Coat with Pearl Trim and Faux Leather Details

Guess sweaters are also top quality, made with super-fine materials and denoting careful construction and innovative yet iconic designs. Their Guess tops have managed to maintain the Southern California flavor but at the same time, they have also evolved to accompany current trends. 

Get the look:

I would say that what was true during the 90s is still true today. Wearing Guess makes a woman feel seductive, sensual, and mysterious. Their brand’s mystique remains firmly entrenched in all of their items, from intimates to shoes. 

Is Guess a Good Brand for For Guys?

Yes, the Southern Californian vibe mixed with rugged denim and leather pieces is definitely yummy! Their line of jackets is stylish yet practical and adornments, in general, are few. Their clothes can easily be mixed and matched, creating classic outfits in a masculine traditional aesthetic. 

Get the look:

GUESS Men’s Dillon Denim Jacket

Is Guess a Good Brand for Bags?

There are lots of different lines of Guess bags, ranging from the relatively low-cost items from the Guess Factory to the deluxe bags of the Luxury line. They all feature many models like the sling-back, satchel, duffel bag, and tote among others. 

Get the look:

GUESS Factory Women’s Logo Duffle Bag

Are they good? The jury appears to think so based on a ton of reviews over many seller points. What I can say for sure is that any one of the Guess bags is a fashionable and recognizable item in the fashion world. They might not be as much of an “it” item as a Birkin Bag, but they are very well made, last quite a lot of time and the style and quality are well worth the investment. 

Is Guess a Good Brand for Purses?

Guess purses come in many styles and shapes. They are as renowned as their bags and one of the most notorious items to be featured in each and every one of their campaigns. 

They are usually also front and center at any collection, being actively portrayed in sexy poses and outlandish ensembles. Some of their most popular models are the crossbody, the wallet, the shopper bag, the clutch bag, and the carryall small tote.

Get the look:

GUESS Women’s Naya Large Zip Around Wallet

Is Guess a Good brand for Footwear?

Heels are important for Guess when it comes to their billboard and magazine imaginary. However, the brand produces a lot more footwear than just stilettos despite what their campaigns might imply!

They have an extensive range of sneakers, riding boots, combat boots, low-tops, loafers, and sandals. In fact, between this pair of slip ons and these pair of low-tops I bet they could have been featured in our Vans lookalike article!

Get the look:

GUESS Women’s Loven Sneaker

Is Guess a Good Good Brand for Watches?

I have to confess, I am not a huge watches fan myself. Ever since I got a cellphone, I check the time there and don’t wear a wristwatch unless it’s for show. 

Well, looks like I’m in luck because Guess watches are definitely made for show rather than practicality! From black, slim, and minimalist to crystal-embellished and rainbow-colored… They have something for every taste. One of my favorites was this silver-toned crystal bangle watch in stainless steel

Get the look:

Guess 30MM Crystal Bangle Watch

Read: 90s Watches: What Was Popular in the Decade?

Good Brand for Jeans?

When it comes to jeans, Guess pants are their most iconic product, so it’s definitely a yes! Their denim is the stuff of legends, carrying all sorts of different styles: curve, skinny, slim-fit, low rise, middle rise, and high-rise

Plus, let me tell you, they have something for everyone, be it men or women. One of my top choices was this rugged straight-leg pair of jeans or these stone-washed flare jeans.

Get the look:

GUESS Women’s 1981 High Rise Stretch Fit Flare Jean

Good Brand for Accessories?

Sunglasses are a huge part of Guess campaigns. They add a touch of old European glamour to their photography, together with stylishly printed scarves. Some of their best syles for sunglasses are the round retro Unisex teal GF0275, and the Oversized Square sunglasses from Guess Factory. If you are into something a bit lighter, the golden GF6119 is as classic and as elegant as it gets!

Their jewelry can be a bit tacky sometimes, but they often manage to hit the right spot between being a bit rough and sexy at the same time. Case in point, this framed heart necklace or these thick golden bracelet

Get the look:

GUESS Framed Heart Necklace

Checklist: Why Guess is a Good Brand

Why Guess is a Good Brand
  1. Throughout their history, they have managed to stay true to themselves and their essence as a brand and company.
  2. They always manage to transmit the core values of the brand through every product: sexiness, mystery, and allure.
  3. They are true to their values and defined style.
  4. Their denim is top-notch. Be it jeans, jackets or tops. There is no other item as iconic.
  5. Top-quality and an affordable price make the brand high-end but not out of reach for most people
  6. They offer many different lines of clothing to fit different target audiences.
  7. They have a sharp eye to spot next-level beauty and their campaigns are prophetic when it comes to featuring the next international top models.

All in all, Guess is a very good fashion brand that produces quality items for both women and men. Over the years they have managed to create clothing fit for stars and normal people alike. Their beautiful dresses and sexy slim jeans are definitely at the top of my list for some sweet self-gifting either for Black Friday or Xmas! Any excuse to get some of those yummy accessories and elegant stilettos! 

Bibliography

  • Our Story by Guess.com – Link 
  • The Guess Girls of the 90s, Dazed – Link
  • 35 years of Guess, Vogue – Link
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Lorena Lombardo is a fashion designer specialized in trend forecasting and fashion journalism. She studied at the UAL (University of London), ORT (Universidad ORT Uruguay), and taken various courses about traditional craftsmanship while living in Tokyo. Some of her favorite memories during the 90s include wearing bucket hats and trying to copy Rachel’s hairstyle. Her absolute favorite show was Buffy: the Vampire Slayer but she was also a huge fan of Clueless because of its amazing fashion choices. Her top track of the decade is currently disputed between How soon is Now? by the Smiths and Here with me by Dido. Both also happen to be the opening songs for two great 90s shows: Charmed and Roswell. Coincidence? I think not!