McGuire Denim Founder Visits LA Campus
Students in the Premier Merchandise Product Development Group were treated on the Los Angeles campus today to guest speakers—Marianne McGuire, the founder of McGuire Denim, and the head of womenswear, alumna Ching Aria Hsiao.
The premium denim entrepreneur started her career at GUESS in product licensing. It wasn’t long before she decided to move into design, so she became an assistant designer. From there she went to Laundry by Shelli Segal where she gained exposure to ruffles, bias, and suiting.
She brought that design knowledge with her over to Joe’s Jeans and took them in a more feminine direction. Their business grew a tremendous amount while she was there.
This was at the time of the premium denim boom. GAP recruited her to design women’s denim for their Europe and Asia markets, then globally. She worked with a team to transform the GAP denim space and revamp women’s denim.
Leveraging her wide range of experience, she decided to go out on her own and launch her own brand, with soul and femininity. McGuire jeans was born. That was 5 years ago and they continue to grow.
“It’s been an exciting roller coaster,” she said. “On some days the workload can be overwhelming, and on other days I know, ‘I’ve got this.’”
She advised the students to think about the end customer and hone in on who they’re designing for. “Listen to your gut,” she said. “Inspire yourself to reach farther.”
When asked what she looks for in an intern, she responded, “A hard worker. Talent. Someone who is okay with being bored. Someone who tries to be helpful. Basically, show me you’re serious about getting a job.”
Two grads are currently working for McGuire—Merchandise Product Development Alumna Ching Aria Hsiao, heading up womenswear, and Bachelor’s in Apparel Technical Design Alumna Nelly Torres who is freelancing in marketing at design.