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Guess is the original ’90s ‘it’ brand, here’s what the label is serving up in 2021

WORDS BY MAKI MORITA

A legacy continuing well into our current fashion milieu.

The 90s delivered a new era of style that redefined pop culture. It was the decade of VHS and the Spice Girls, grunge music and Sex and the City. It holds a special place in millennials’ hearts and evokes memories of dancing to MTV in our lounge rooms. It brought us an eclectic fashion sensibility – crop tops, animal prints, sequins, leather jackets – and an all-’round celebration of the sexy woman that wears form-fitting threads and totally rocks it (Posh Spice, Naomi Campbell, Alicia Silverstone as Cher… I rest my case).

Theres something about 90s fashion that was definitely doing it right, because its still making waves. Iconic luxury brand Guess is no exception, and while its signature triangle emblem is ubiquitous with the 90s, its long been here to stay.

A dive into the Guess history

First formed in 1981 by the Marciano brothers, Guess is known for its sexy, bold and youthful aesthetic, which blends European chic with a carefree Californian attitude. This speaks to the story of the Marciano brothers, who left the South of France to embrace the Los Angeles fashion scene, and are known for their sultry advertising campaigns that launched the modelling careers of muses like Claudia Schiffer, Anna Nicole Smith, Gigi Hadid and Naomi Campbell.

The brand holds a special place in 90s pop culture, all thanks to the keen eye of the Marciano brothers for pairing previously unknown models with their iconic aesthetic, practically catapulting their careers overnight. It’s the highly-stylised black and white campaigns featuring feisty femmes and a film noir-esque aesthetic that made Guess so distinctive, and firmly rooted it as the ‘it’ brand of the era.

The success story of Guess started with its three-zip Marilyn jean – a stonewashed, slim-fitting jean that disappeared from shelves at the American luxury department store Bloomingdales in a matter of hours. It all started with a 700 square-foot office in downtown Los Angeles, which, fast forward 39 years later, is established as a globally renowned designer brand. It was a big gamble for the two brothers, and a bold example for anyone making their way in the fashion industry today.

From then to now

Guess’s legacy continues well into our current fashion milieu. Recent years have seen collaborations with rapper A$AP Rocky and reggaeton star J Balvin, drawing from the brand’s roots in casual-cool denim wear to create colourful street-style ranges.

This summer, Guess is bringing us a new range of womenswear perfect for heading out on those balmy evenings. The collection features micro crop tops and figure-hugging body con pieces in earthy tones and a mix of animal prints, all inspired by an ‘Electric Jungle’ theme.

The Kalani Crop Top is ideal for a simple, form-fitting summer look, especially when paired with the Kalani Thigh Slit Skirt. Available in three colourways, the Moon Dust Heather and Bright Green iterations are ideal for a fun daytime outfit, while the Root Beer is a darker tone suitable for a night out.

Another favourite in the collection is the Lara Zebra Mini Dress, served in a timeless (but sexy) jungle cat print. The form-fitting mini is cut with a scoop neck, skinny straps and lettuce trim accents.

There’s also the Boom Boom Graphic Tee, which has a grunge-y feel and hints at the brand’s roots.

It’s not easy for a brand to evolve and stay relevant over the years, but Guess has managed to continue crafting coveted fashion staples. The new Summer 2020 collection stays true to the brand’s aesthetic: simple yet sexy, sleek and effortlessly casual-cool. At its core, Guess pays homage to the gritty street glam of Los Angeles, and the celebs lined up in droves to be in their campaigns and collaborations (and still do).

The ’90s was a seminal moment for fashion, and the enduring popularity of Guess in 2020 shows that this original ‘it’ brand is still very much ‘it’. The Summer 2020 collection draws from the hallmark trends of the decade, adapting current styles and aesthetics yet still retaining what we know and love about Guess. The crop tops, sleek long skirts, and body con dresses that make up the range are some definite must-haves in these warmer months.

The Guess Summer 2020 Women’s range is now available in Guess stores across the country, or shop online here.

guess.com.au

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