Paul Marciano is a Jewish-American fashion designer and co-founder of Guess? Inc. He is the mastermind behind the Guess? image and his sensual 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 only 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 Morocco, and raised in Marseilles, France with his four siblings, Georges, Armand, Maurice and Jacqueline. The Marcianos are from a prestigious Jewish family from the Debdou Village in Morocco, near Guerssif and Taourirtand. The family is very attached to the Jewish tradition: 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 Eclaireurs 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, 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, the Marcianos closed MGA and moved to the United States.
The Marciano brothers founded Guess in 1981.