Guess announces Paul Marciano’s resignation, settlements over sexual harassment claims

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.

Kate Upton accuses Guess co-founder Paul Marciano of sexual harassment; Guess stock value plummets

February 1, 2018

by Colleen McGregor

 Kate Upton and her dog Harley (Photo courtesy of Link AKC)
Kate Upton and her dog Harley (Photo courtesy of Link AKC)

The stock value of fashion company Guess sharply declined one day after supermodel Kate Upton accused Guess co-founder/creative director Paul Marciano of sexual harassment. On January 31, 2018, Upton took to social media to post this message: “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director. #metoo.” She later wrote in a separate message: “He shouldn’t be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women #metoo,”

Shares in Guess dropped nearly 18% on February 1, 2018, according to MarketWatch. As one of Guess’s biggest shareholders, Marciano owns about 12,367,360 shares, so the sharp decline in the company’s stock has cost him about $40 million on February 1, 2018.

Upton did not give further details in her online accusation but she said in a TMZ paparazzi video that she will eventually tell her full story. Marciano told TMZ in response to Upton’s accusation: “If she has a claim, there’s one place to tell the truth and that’s in court or to the police.”

Marciano co-founded Guess in 1981 with his brothers Georges, Armand, Maurice and Paul. Upton was a Guess model in 2010 and 2011. Other famous women who have been Guess models range from Claudia Schiffer and Anna Nicole Smith in the 1990s to Paris Hilton in the 2000s to more recent models such as Gigi Hadid, singer Camila Cabello and Jennifer Lopez.

Lopez is the star of Guess’ Spring 2018 campaign. She issued this statement to Us Weekly:  “My position on these issues is well known, as I have been very vocal about them. I do not condone any acts of sexual harassment, violation, or misconduct. Any accusations should be fully and thoroughly investigated. I will continue to support our rights as women.”

February 9, 2018 UPDATE:

Kate Upton has given interviews to Time magazine and ABC’s “Good Morning America” detailing her allegations against Paul Marciano. She claims that in 2010, when she was 18, Marciano made unwanted sexual advances toward her during a lingerie photo shoot. Upton says that he groped her breasts and told her it was because he wanted to see if her breasts were real. Upton also says that Marciano grabbed the back of her head so she could not move and began kissing her on her neck and  lips without her consent. Fashion photographer Yu Tsai says he was an eyewitness to this alleged harassment, and he backs up Upton’s story. Upton also claims that on this occasion and others, Paul Marciano aggressively touched her and tried to get her to be alone with him, but she refused. Paul Marciano is still saying that Upton’s claims are “utterly false.”

Link AKC partners with Kate Upton for ‘smart collar’ video series for dog owners

May 10, 2017

Kate Upton and her dog Harley for Link AKC
Kate Upton and her dog Harley (Photo courtesy of Link AKC)

The following is a press release from Link AKC:

Do you “speak dog”? If not, Link AKC, Kate Upton and her dog Harley can help! Link AKC, creators of the Link AKC smart collar for dogs, is launching a content series starring supermodel, actress and dog lover Kate Upton and her Boxer, Harley. The entertaining and informative six-part video series is part of a brand partnership between Link AKC and Kate Upton to support the national launch of the smart collar and educate consumers how this product can strengthen the bond between owner and dog. Fans will get an up close look at the special bond between Harley and “his human” and how the cutting-edge technology in the smart collar helps Kate play a more active role in managing Harley’s health and happiness. The first two videos are available to view starting today on www.linkakc.com/kateupton.

A self-described “dog mom,” Kate Upton is one of 60 million U.S. households that consider their dog a member of the family and are looking for ways to better understand their best friend. The Link AKC smart collar and app incorporates sophisticated smart home, wearable and mobile technologies in an easy-to-use product that provides valuable insights for dog owners to give them peace of mind that they are doing what is best for their dog.

“Everyone knows I am obsessed with Harley. And I’m pretty sure he feels the same about me! When we’re together, the LINK AKC smart collar allows me to record and share our hikes and other adventures,” said Kate Upton. “When Harley can’t be by my side, I can still feel connected to him through his smart collar, which tells me his location, environment and activity levels from anywhere, right on my phone.”

The Link AKC smart collar launched in September 2016 and began shipping to consumers in February 2017. CES recognized the smart collar as a 2017 “Best of Innovation” winner. With a range of valuable features and great user experience, the Link AKC smart collar is poised to lead a new category of luxury technology for a large and growing consumer demographic. The pet wearables market, alone, is expected to reach $2.4 billion by 2022.

The Link AKC smart collar is made of high quality, durable leather that is both fashionable and functional and is the only curved smart device designed to comfortably fit the natural shape of a dog’s neck. Collars are available in four different sizes to fit a wide range of dogs, from small to extra-large.

Dog owners will appreciate the many features that provide benefits for both the dog and owner, including:

  • GPS tracking and location: Gives dog owners peace of mind with the ability to track the dog’s location and receive alerts if the dog becomes loose.
  • Activity monitor: Provides insightful activity recommendations to help owners take a more informed role in managing their dogs’ wellness. Owners can monitor and track their dogs’ daily activity levels to help ensure their dogs are getting the right level of activity for the dog’s breed, age, and size.
  • Remote-controlled light: The only smart collar with a remote- controlled light to help an owner find their dog in the dark.
  • Temperature: Alerts to notify you if your dog may be in an environment that is too hot or cold.
  • Adventures: Record, save and share your special adventures together on social media.
  • Training: App controlled sound that can assist owners in training their dog.

Sports Illustrated 2017 Swimsuit Issue reaches several milestones

February 15, 2017

Sports Illustrated
Kate Upton on the three different covers of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (Photo by Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated)

The annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is one of the most highly anticipated magazine issues in fashion and beauty. The 2017 edition (on sale as of February 15, 2017) reached several milestones.

The first time a model is on three covers of the same issue.

Kate Upton graces three covers of the issue. Upton’s appearance on three national covers is a first for SI Swimsuit. It also marks her third cover appearance (2012, 2013), tying her with Christie Brinkley (who returns to SI Swimsuit this year at 63), Kathy Ireland, Daniela Pestova and Cheryl Tiegs. Elle Macpherson holds the record, with five SI Swimsuit covers.

More diversity than ever before.

The women featured in the issue include five previous cover models (Nina Agdal, Christie Brinkley, Ashley Graham, Hannah Jeter and Chrissy Teigen), five mothers (and one expecting), five world-famous athletes (Simone Biles, Genie Bouchard, Aly Raisman, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki) and seven rookies, al assembled by Swimsuit Editor MJ Day. In addition to being models, these women are authors, activists, designers, kick boxers, impresarios, Olympic gold medal winners, students, singer-songwriters, up-and-coming and leading business executives and role models.

The first mother-daughter photo shoot.

Brinkley posed with her two daughters, Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook.

An unprecedented multi-platform, multimedia launch.

Launch week featured over a dozen Facebook Live shows, including the announcement of the 2017 Rookie of the Year winner from Facebook’s Manhattan studios; a Snapchat Global Live Story following the models during Swimsuit launch; a new partnership with Giphy to create hundreds of GIFs searchable by model and topic; exclusive new YouTube videos featuring top influencers; exclusive Instagram swimsuit videos and much more. There are also partnerships with @WomenIRL—a Time Inc. Instagram community devoted to authenticity—and with Health.com to launch the new “What I Model” campaign, which coincides with the tagline for this year’s edition, “Every body, Every age, Every beautiful.” It celebrates confidence and beauty in all its forms as women can participate by submitting their own videos using the #WhatIModel and #LoveYourSwimsuit tags.

SI Swimsuit also revealed never-before-seen photos and video content, including 360-degree videos from shoots in Fiji and Mexico, nearly 1,000 bonus pictures, dozens of new Swimsuit videos, premium in-app content and much more.

In addition, “The Making of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017” premiered exclusively on DirecTV Now on February 15, 2017. The 50-minute documentary offered viewers a rare extended glimpse behind the scenes of the creation of the iconic issue.

On February 16, 2017, SI Swimsuit streamed a live show from the red carpet of the New York City launch party debuting this year’s full cast of models. The VIP event had a DJ performance by Nick Cannon and an array of social integrations.

The first VIBES by SI Swimsuit festival.

There was also the inaugural VIBES by SI Swimsuit music, food and culture festival taking place in Houston on February 17 and 18, 2017, featuring live performances by Grammy winners Diplo and Miguel; a range of panels hosted by 2017 Swimsuit models; and food offerings from local and national celebrity chefs.

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