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LAC: After nearly 30 years in the business how do you keep the Guess collections fresh?
PM: It’s not just luck that keeps brands like Guess in business for so many years. It takes an enormous amount of energy and work to satisfy consumers season after season. It takes the right combination of innovation and evolution balanced by a clear focus of your brand’s principles. We are one of the very few fashion companies in the world that is a complete lifestyle brand. We are constantly reinventing ourselves while preserving the true identity of Guess.
LAC: You’ve helped launch some of the biggest models in fashion [Claudia Schiffer, the late Anna Nicole Smith, Naomi Campbell, Laetitia Casta] with your ad campaigns. What is the creative process behind choosing models for your ads?
PM: I hand-select all of my models through photos because I like to see the chemistry between the model and the camera. Any girl can possess beauty, but the gift of transcending that beauty within a photograph is the true essence of the Guess girl. Even to this day when I look at Claudia Schiffer’s or Eva Herzigova’s pictures, the notion of dreams is still present.
LAC: What can we expect from Guess’ fall lines?
PM: The fall Guess denim collection offers vintage indigos and smoky-gray washes and features new dye techniques and screen-printed jeans. Washes are distressed, resonated, scraped, tinted, sprayed, ripped, battered, embroidered and studded—offering the customer a multitude of styles to fit their denim personality. Continuing with the all-powerful and classic skinny jean, we have introduced a denim legging with “power stretch” to pair perfectly with the great assortment of grandpa cardigans and flowy tunics seen throughout the fall collection.
LAC: What are some of your top picks from the fall lines?
PM: The Guess fall must-haves for ladies include the denim legging, a pair of distressed jeans—like our black, destroyed, daredevil skinny jean—and a great fitting pair of boyfriend jeans. For men we are offering a dark-wash skinny jean that is universally flattering.
LAC: Guess has been steadily expanding its lines and stores in recent years. What’s next for the brand?
PM: Our goal is to open Baby Guess stores in the US.
LAC: How do you compare the LA fashion scene with that of other cities around the world?
PM: There is no better place in the world to shop today than Los Angeles, and I mean that. I’ve shopped for fashion for 30 years, and I travel overseas every month—LA is the best for fashion. This city holds a special place in my heart. It’s where my dreams started and where my dreams will continue.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ELLEN VON UNWERTH (MARCIANO); COURTESY OF GUESS (SCHIFFER)
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.