Sportswear International talked to Rino Castiglione, Vice President of Guess Europe's
Denim Division, about the brand’s trends for s/s 2012 and its expansion plans for the European market. Interview by Susannah Carey

Please tell us a little bit about Guess’ collections for s/s 2012. What were the inspirations?

The biggest theme is travelling and being global. The Guess girls and guys are on road trips through the desert and in the nature or hanging out at cool rock festivals. Inspirations are hippies of the 1970s in California. For the girls, we have baby blue skinny fits as well as flare denims in the collection, outerwear pieces with colors ranging from pastels to earth tones. For the guys, we offer chino and cargo shorts, structured knits, faded jersey t-shirts and denim in clean washes.

Did you make any changes regarding the balance between womenswear and menswear?
We definitely want to push the menswear. We have a very good selection and we want to feed each market. For this, we have hired a new Head of design to improve and support our design team with a special focus on our menswear collection.

What are your expansion plans for the European market?
We try to adapt locally to the markets and approach the different demands. We believe in retail and our aim is to establish a local sales structure with a corresponding country manager and a showroom in each country. In Russia, for instance, we will have ten Guess stores by the end of this year and we plan to open a further ten stores by the end of next year.
In this moment, Germany represents a market in strong expansion, especially for wholesale, and here we have a dedicated sales structure with Guess showrooms in Hamburg, Düsseldorf and Munich. We already have a flagship store in Düsseldorf and now we are planning to open monobrand stores in Munich and Berlin.
Also Holland is a growing market in both wholesale and retail. Here we already have seven stores, but will open three more freestanding stores there by the end of the year.
New Guess Jeans shop-in-shop concept
New Guess Jeans shop-in-shop concept