When people hear of Paul Marciano, greatness and success automatically come to mind. What many do not know is that his achievements were not handed to him on a silver platter.
Brick by brick, he built his fortress through hard work and commitment. The story of his life from grass to grace is truly inspiring. It not only teaches us to make lemonade from the lemons that life hands us, but it also teaches us to follow the whims of our hearts.
Back in 1952 in a small Moroccan town called Debdou, a fashion icon, Paul Marciano, was born. He had four siblings: Armand, Jacqueline, Maurice, and Georges. They were brought up in Marseilles, France.
He would later make an impact on his society and the world; but not without a struggle. Like any other kid in France, Paul went to school. His education, however, was cut short when he was involved in an accident that left him in a wheelchair for more than half a year. Doctors did not think he would ever walk again.
Miraculously, he was back on his feet 18 months later. Unfortunately, his school couldn’t re-admit him due to his extended absence. As a strong young man, Paul did not allow his circumstances to weigh him down.
In 1969, at a tender age of 17, Paul Marciano started working at a club during the weekends and as a jeans salesman during weekdays. It was during this time that he started working alongside his brother, Georges.
His brother designed ties and Paul would sell them in Paris. They did not stop at that, they also designed women’s blouses. In 1973, they opened a store in Bandol.
It was registered as a company by the name MGA, an acronym of the sibling’s names-Maurice, Georges, Armand. By 1976, they had twenty stores that manufactured dresses, jeans, and pants.
In 1977, the brothers moved to America where they opened two stores after finding themselves in a tax dispute with the French authorities. Of the three siblings, Maurice was the only one who was fluent in English. They advertised their new company, GUESS, and within a year, they made $6M.
They joined alliances with Jordache in1984 but the partnership fell apart in 1989. They resolved their dispute in court and finally separated in 1990. Paul Marciano went ahead to become the company’s CEO in 1993. In 2017,
Paul and Maurice launched a non-profit foundation by the name The Marciano Art Foundation with an aim of supporting art.