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Monthly Archives: October 2010
Guess was founded by Georges, Armand, Paul, and Maurice Marciano, four brothers raised in Marseilles, France. They moved to California from France in 1977 and founded the company in 1981. Seed money to start the business came from the Nakash family, owners of the Jordache denim empire. Their first product was a three-zipper style of jeans they named “Marilyn” (Style # 1015). Department stores and fashion critics were initially reluctant to carry the new ‘stone washed denim’ jeans, but in December when Bloomingdale’s finally agreed with Georges to stock two dozen pairs of the new jeans as a favor to the brothers. They sold out quickly.
They began advertising in 1982 and introduced their iconic black-and-white ads in 1985. The ads have won numerous Clio Awards. Their fashion models have included a number of widely-recognized supermodels, many of whom first achieved prominence via the ad campaigns.
In the 1985 Robert Zemeckis movie, Back to the Future, Marty McFly (Michael J Fox) wore distinctive Guess denim clothing, reportedly designed specifically for the film.
The Guess emblem with the famous question mark in the center.
During the 1980s Guess was one of the most popular brands of jeans. The company was one of the first companies to create designer jeans. While the first jeans were for women, in 1983 a men’s line debuted. In 1984 Guess introduced its new line of watches known as “Guess”, “Guess Steel”, and the “Guess Collection” The watch line is still in existence today, and has been joined by a number of other accessory sidelines. In 1984, they also introduced a line of baby’s clothes, called “Baby Guess”.
Gucci was founded in 1921 by Guccio Gucci. In 1938, Gucci expanded and a boutique was opened in Rome. Guccio was responsible for designing many of the company’s products. In 1947, Gucci introduced the Bamboo handle handbag, which is still a company mainstay. During the 1950s, Gucci also developed the trademark striped webbing, which was derived from the saddle girth, and the suede moccasin with a metal horsebit.
His wife Aida Calvelli had a large family, though only the sons—Vasco, Aldo, Ugo, and Rodolfo—would play a role in leading the company. After Guccio’s death in 1953, Aldo helped lead the company to a position of International prominence, opening the company’s first boutique in New York. Rodolfo initially tried to start an acting career as a matinee idol but soon returned to help direct the company. Even in Gucci’s fledgling years, the family was notorious for its ferocious infighting. Disputes regarding inheritances, stock holdings, and day-to-day operations of the stores often divided the family and led to alliances. Gucci expanded overseas, board meetings about the company’s future often ended with tempers flaring and luggage and purses flying. Gucci targeted the Far East for further expansion in the late 1960s, opening stores in Hong Kong and Tokyo. At that time, the company also developed its famous GG logo (Guccio Gucci’s initials), the Flora silk scarf (worn prominently by Hollywood actress Grace Kelly), and the Jackie O shoulder bag, made famous by Jackie Kennedy, the wife of U.S. President John F. Kennedy.
Armani was the first designer to ban models with a body mass index (BMI) under 18, after model Ana Carolina Reston starved herself to death due to anorexia nervosa.
Armani broadcast his collection live on the Internet, a first in the world of haute couture, on 24 January 2007. The Armani Privé Spring/Summer 2007 fashion show was broadcast via MSN and Cingular cellular phones.
After LG teamed with Prada to introduce the LG Prada phone, Samsung joined Armani to design the Giorgio Armani phone.
Armani designed made-to-measure suits for Christian Bale’s character Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight. Advertisements featuring “Giorgio Armani for Bruce Wayne” were released in 2008 with pictures of Christian Bale wearing Armani suits. However, Bale later claimed in a GQ interview that the campaign was produced without his permission.
In the 1990s, Armani opened his chain of Armani Cafes and developed a new fragrance, Giorgio Armani Neve – numerous colognes and fragrances have since been marketed by Armani.
Armani opened his first restaurant in the U.S., Armani/Ristorante. The restaurant opened in New York in February 2009 and has been rated by the Zagat Survey.
He did also 5 best sellers Emporio Armani CD compilations with the italian sound designer Matteo Ceccarini.
He has extended the brand into multiple other categories such as Armani Casa (upscale furniture – 16 stores), Armani-branded Dolci (confectionary), and Armani-branded Fiori (flowers).
Armani struck a deal with a Dubai-based property group Emaar to come up with a chain of 14 Armani branded hotels and resorts by 2011 to be exclusively decorated with furnishings from Armani/Casa. The hotel is named Armani Hotel and is located in Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It opened on 4 January 2010.