Paul Marciano (born ca. 1952) is an American fashion designer, businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder of Guess? Inc; his black-and-white advertisements have won numerous Clio awards. Initially run by all four Marciano brothers (Paul, Armand, Maurice and Georges), today the company and its extension lines, Marciano and G by Guess, are handled by Paul and Maurice. He is also a large benefactor to one of the larger Sephardic synagogues in Los Angeles, Em Habanim.
Paul Marciano was born in 1952 in Debdou, Morocco to a Jewish family and raised in Marseille, France with his four siblings, Georges, Armand, Maurice and Jacqueline. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were rabbis. They lived in an apartment in a synagogue complex and from age 8–15. Paul, along with his brothers, was a member of the Éclaireurs israelites de France, a Jewish boy scout group which was located in the same complex. At 15, he and a friend were involved in a motorcycle accident when they collided with an oncoming car. After being told he would never walk again, he spent seven months in a wheelchair. He eventually regained full use of his limbs after a year and a half, but was not re-accepted into school due to his prolonged absence. Unable to finish his education, he traveled to Israel to live in a kibbutz.
Marciano worked in his family's clothing company, MGA (which stood for Maurice Georges Armand), with shops in French Riviera. The Marciano brothers, Paul, Georges, Armand and Maurice, visited Southern California during an extended leave in 1977, and developed an appreciation for the area. After political changes in France in 1981 and the rise to power of socialist François Mitterrand, the Marcianos closed MGA and moved to the United States. They also ran an MGA on Little Santa Monica in Beverly Hills in the early '80s. The brothers soon started the world-famous clothing company Guess.
In 1981, the Marciano brothers founded Guess Jeans. In 1983, they sold a 50% stake in Guess Jeans to the Nakash Brothers (Joseph "Joe" Nakash, Abraham "Avi" Nakash, and Raphael "Ralph" Nakash) of New York. The joint venture soured and in 1989, a California superior court jury found that the Nakashes had fraudulently lured the Marcianos into the transaction. In 1990, the Nakash brothers settled for $66 million of $106 million escrowed profits and the ownership of the brand name "Gasoline" while the Marciano brothers received the brand "Diesel." Paul Marciano first handled advertising and public relations and later became president and chief operating officer of the company in 1993. In 2004, Paul and Maurice Marciano together owned close to 70 percent of the 44 million shares. In August 2015, Paul Marciano stepped down as the CEO of Guess following allegations of sexual assault by Kate Upton and four other women which were settled for $500,000. He became Executive Chairman and remained Guess' chief creative officer.
Other business activities
Along with his brother Maurice, Paul Marciano joined forces in 2013 with Steve Tisch and World Wrestling Entertainment in backing Hero Ventures, a Los Angeles entertainment start-up.
In 2013, the Maurice and Paul Marciano Art Foundation paid $8 million to buy the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, which the two brothers plan to turn into a private museum designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast. With 90,000 square feet over four floors, it is almost as large as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and intended to house the Marcianos' 1,000-piece collection. In order to avoid any conflicts of interest with Maurice Marciano's subsequent co-chairmanship of MOCA, the project was temporarily put on hold. The museum opened in 2017. On 1 November 2019, A petition was filed with the N.L.R.B. seeking to represent about 70 visitor services associates and other employees at the foundation, seeking a raise from the California minimum wage. On 7 November, all Visitor Services associates were laid off and the museum closed. Labor organizers then wrote to the N.L.R.B., stating the foundation of "...illegally discriminated against its employees by laying off employees en masse and/or closing its facility.”
In 2014, Paul and his brother Maurice donated $5.2 million to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.
Prior to 2016 Marciano donated primarily to Democratic political candidates. However, since 2016 he has stopped supporting Democrats and made over $20,000 in donations to Republican candidates including $2,700 (the maximum allowed by law) to Donald Trump.
Marciano has been married twice. His first wife was model and photographer Kymberly Marciano; they had two children Nicolai (born 1995) and Ella (born 1996) before divorcing. In 2016, he married French model, Mareva Georges, Miss Tahiti 1990 and Miss France 1991, in Bora Bora. They have two children, Ryan (born 2005) and Gia (born 2012) and live in Los Angeles. Georges works as an advocate for the protection of children and women from abuse.