Guess on Teaming Up With FriendsWithYou & J Balvin for Capsule: 'He's Really Our Guy'

J Balvin, GUESS
Courtesy of GUESS

GUESS x FriendsWithYou featuring J Balvin

"There couldn’t be a better person that’s on-brand," Nicolai Marciano tells Billboard.

J Balvin, Guess and FriendsWithYou have joined forces for a vibrant capsule that “aims to remind people that happiness is found in everyday life.”

For Guess, the new collection, which will be available in stores and online Thursday, comes “full circle” thanks to Balvin, who introduced artists Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III to the brand. After collaborating on merch and other small projects, Guess and FriendsWithYou presents a bigger capsule collection with 75 pieces. The Colombian singer (real name: José Álvaro Osorio Balvin) stars in the campaign, which officially launched April 7.

“I think putting Jose in the campaign puts the dynamic of the relationship full circle because we were introduced to him. We’ve both worked with him in the past, so having him become the face of the campaign essentially felt supernatural,” Nicolai Marciano, director of brand partnerships & specialty marketing for Guess, tells Billboard. “This is definitely what Jose embodies in terms of positivity, happiness, colors. There couldn’t be a better person that’s on-brand. He’s someone who loves cartoons, anime culture, fashion, and it felt very fitting.”

Balvin, who previously released a fashion line with Guess, had no creative input in the collection.

“All the direction for this campaign came from FriendsWithYou and the Guess team,” Marciano explains. “We married their icons, logos and different characters with our design and that was basically the creative process.”

Courtesy of GUESS?, Inc.
Nicolai Marciano

Through the new collection, which will be available globally and includes 75 pieces that are bright, bold and breezy, complete with decorative embroidery and logos, Guess wants to spotlight FriendsWithYou's Samuel and Arturo as artists and bring awareness to their art and messaging.

As for their ongoing relationship with Balvin, he’s “really our guy,” notes Marciano.

“Jose has the creative interest and passion for design because he loves the product,” he adds. “That’s one of the reasons we began working with him. I think it’s less about working with people based on popularity status but more about who’s able to come in and apply creativity and express themselves through fashion. He’s unique.”