June 12, 2018
by Colleen McGregor
Fashion company Guess has announced that co-founder Paul Marciano has resigned as executive chairman, but he will remain on the company’s board of directors. In addition, Guess has revealed in a public filing that the company has reached non-confidential settlements totaling $500,000 with five unidentified individuals who have accused Marciano of inappropriate sexual conduct.
The news comes after Marciano was accused by several women, including supermodel Kate Upton, of sexual harassment, such as unwanted kissing, groping and sexually aggressive verbal and written communications where Marciano allegedly used his power to try to have sexual contact with women who were employed by Guess. Upton went public with her allegations in February 2018, and her claims were corroborated by at least one witness. Marciano denied all the allegations, but he stepped down from day-to-day responsibilities after Upton went public with the allegations. Guess then said that it would conduct an internal investigation. The day that news broke of Upton’s accusation, Guess’ stock fell 18 percent.
According to Reuters: “Guess said its investigation found that Marciano on certain occasions exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers.”
Paul’s brother Maurice Marciano has been named chairman of the board for Guess. Guess was founded in 1981 by brothers Georges, Armand, Maurice and Paul Marciano. Over the years, Guess has had several famous models and entertainers in its ad campaigns, including Claudia Schiffer, Upton, Anna Nicole Smith, Drew Barrymore, Adriana Lima, Paris Hilton, Amber Heard, Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Lopez and Camila Cabello.