Paul Marciano, the co-founder of jeans company Guess, uses “his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women,” according to Kate Upton. The Sports Illustrated cover model spoke out via Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday evening, writing: “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo.”
As noted by the Daily Beast, “Marciano is one of four French brothers who co-founded Guess, a brand which did much to reimagine denim as a fashion textile rather than a workman’s uniform, thanks in large part to a series of celebrated and provocative advertising campaigns,” starring everyone from Upton, herself, to Claudia Schiffer and Gigi Hadid.
“Mr. Marciano denies any misconduct toward Ms. Upton,” Guess said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.
Guess said it will investigate Upton’s concerns if it determines they have merit, adding that she had not yet made any specific allegations. The said it had previously investigated claims that Marciano behaved inappropriately towards two women in November 2017, after an entertainment website contacted them. It said the investigation, aided by outside counsel, had so far been unable to corroborate the allegations and the company’s board had been unable to determine if they had merit. Marciano has denied the allegations.
Upton’s comments come on the heels of a lawsuit filed by male model Jason Boyce against fashion industry photographer Bruce Weber late last year and a New York Times has expose which revealed that an additional 5 male models have come forth to allege sexual exploitation by Weber and 13 male models and assistants allege exploitation by Mario Testino. According to the Times, “Models and assistants described how Mr. Testino and Mr. Weber, two of the most prominent photographers in fashion, used their authority to engage in unwanted sexual behavior.”