Guess What? Does Sexual Harassment Sell to Women?

Another case.  Sexual harassment is not fun or playful or photogenic. Sexual harassment is about power not play.

Guess co-founder Paul Marciano steps down after sexual assault investigation sparked by Kate Upton


Fashion brand Guess has announced its co-founder Paul Marciano is stepping down after an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and assault, which was sparked by a public complaint by model Kate Upton.

At the start of the year Upton told Time magazine that Marciano grabbed her breasts during a Guess photo shoot nearly eight years ago.

She also said that he harassed her by showing up at hotels where she was staying and texting her inappropriate comments.

“It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #MeToo,” Upton tweeted at the time.


Marciano stepped aside from his day-to-day duties in February when Guess commissioned an investigation into several reports of inappropriate comments and texts along with unwanted kissing and groping.

Some of the investigation’s findings were detailed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission announcing Marciano’s resignation on Tuesday (local time).

“The investigation found that on certain occasions Marciano exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers and in placing himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise,” the filing said.

“Many of the allegations could not be corroborated. In some cases, no conclusion could be reached because the individuals either declined to be interviewed or provided insufficient information to the investigators.

“In other cases, the investigation found that credible accounts were given by both sides.”


Marciano, who has denied the allegations, is resigning immediately as executive chairman of the Guess board, and his brother Maurice Marciano, another company co-founder, will take over.

However, he will remain a board member and stay on as chief creative officer until his contract expires at the end of January.

Marciano had forfeited his salary for the period he sat out, but will be paid from June until January. He also owns a 17 per cent stake in Guess Inc.

Resignations like Marciano’s in the fashion industry have been far rarer than in movies and other media in the wave of sexual misconduct revelations spurred by stories on Harvey Weinstein in October.

The company also said it has settled lawsuits with five of Marciano’s accusers for a total of $500,000.

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents four of those women, said in a statement that they were pleased with his stepping down as board chair but disappointed he would stay on in other capacities.

“We do not believe a man with so many credible accusations of sexual assault is fit to lead any company,” Ms Bloom said.

“Much less one that sells primarily to women.”


Mohandas Gandhi

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”