"This line is for a privileged few and that's how I'm keeping it," Guez said during an interview in the penthouse office overlooking the Sunset Strip that he's renting from his uncle, Tarrant Apparel Group co-founder Gerard Guez. "It's an aspiration brand."
Dylan George will be the 31-year-old denim designer's first venture since cutting ties with People's Liberation last October. Guez founded that company in 2004 and took it public in 2005. As chairman and chief executive officer, Guez helped turn the People's Liberation and Justin Timberlake-backed William Rast labels into a $20 million business. He ceded his position as ceo in June 2007 and became co-chairman and creative director. Guez resigned four months later and began work on Dylan George, named after his son, in November.
"Running a public company really puts a toll on you mentally and physically," Guez said, adding that he won't work with outside investors this time.
When Guez started People's Liberation, Colin Dyne was an investor. Dyne is now ceo and a director of the company.
"Although having partners was fun at times and hard at others, you couldn't make a decision without consulting three other people," Guez said. "I just feel I do what's best."
Denim has been a constant in the Guez family. Danny's father, Paul, launched brands such as Sasson, Antik Denim and Taverniti So Jeans, and his sister, Anouk, co-founded Yanuk. Before starting People's Liberation in 2004, Danny Guez ran the private label divisions at Innovo Group Inc. and Blue Concepts, both co-founded by his father, which produced jeans for J. Crew and Pacific Sunwear of California.
With six employees, compared with 56 at the publicly traded People's Liberation, Guez said he can keep his operations focused and tight. The jeans are made in the U.S., services such as warehouses are outsourced and inventory is limited to help ensure better cash flow. His track record at People's Liberation helped Guez secure orders for the line's debut fall collection from national retailers, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale's, along with specialty retailers such as Lisa Kline in Los Angeles, Fred Segal Fun in Santa Monica, Calif., and Big Drop in New York.