The Marciano brothers behind Guess — the must-have jeans of the ’80s — are back with their new women’s wear line GM Studio, where vintage inspiration meets contemporary, high-end details.
STORY BY MIN A. LEE
Since brothers Georges and Armand Marciano launched Guess in 1981, the clothing and accessories giant has seen its share of highs and lows, going from the pinnacle of the denim world, epitomized by its sexy black-and-white ads featuring the likes of Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith, to struggling sales
and internal strife. Though the Marcianos have since left Guess — first Georges in 1993 and then Armand in 2003 — it was by no means the end for the creative pair. This July, they’ll be launching their new women’s wear line, GM Studio, with the complete collection launching in September.
And don’t expect any similarities to Guess — GM Studio is “contemporary and vintage-inspired from the ’80s and ’90s,” says Armand. Indeed, its buttery leathers and superfine fabrics of the denim pants, separates and accessories reveal that the new brand is aiming to propel itself to newer, more sophisticated heights.
Like its home base of Los Angeles, arguably the denim capital of the fashion world, GM Studio has a lot of design history behind it. Though it will only be eight months from the time Georges and Armand sat down to brainstorm some ideas for the new line to its official launch, with Guess’s former design director, Cinzia Simone, at the design helm, GM Studio’s influences stretch back through decades of fashion’s fads and trends. “My brother, Georges, has a huge library, a collection that he amassed for the past 25 years,” says Armand. “Same with Cinzia Simone. We went to her studio, and she showed us all she collected over the years, all these vintage pieces. Georges and I were impressed, so we combined them and were inspired by them.”
A far cry from Guess’s sexpot reputation, GM Studio isn’t a brand making body-conscious dresses and fast fashion designs. This is runway-ready apparel; in fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see GM Studio at an upcoming major fashion week. The debut collection is a well-thought-out mix of past and present, with bell-bottom flares and high rises balanced by modern distressing and raw, deconstructed, boxy silhouettes. Elegant flowing silks in earth tones comprise a small collection of blouses, shirtdresses and wide-legged pants to soften the modern spin. Leather always presents a high luxury feel to any
collection, and GM Studio has plenty of it with their edgy bikers gilets and velvety suedes.
“We really want to give great fabrics, great vintage and great quality for GM customers,” says Armand. “My favorite is a denim pant, our signature Riding Pant. We are creating them in premium stretch denim and even a washed, stretched leather. That for me is the best piece in the whole collection. I saw them on the fit model and other women — it is amazing. It fits unbelievably, looks unbelievable.”
Understanding that times have changed, the Marcianos plan to take a more online-focused approach to marketing their clothing. But if you’re hoping to physically see and touch their designs first, don’t worry — they’ll also be showing to high-end boutiques in several cities. “We are very, very excited of this time we are entering now,” says Armand. And if the sheer excitement in his voice as he describes the minutest fabric details is any indication, GM Studio may well be ushering in a new era of must-have designs for a whole new generation.
GM Studio will be available in July at gmstudiola.com.