Downtown-based Guess Inc. announced Feb. 20 that co-founder Paul Marciano had stepped down from his daily duties due to an on-going investigation of sexual harassment claims by model and actress Kate Upton.

Upton first voiced her allegations against Marciano on Jan. 31, saying his actions “took a huge toll on my confidence and self-worth,” according to media reports. Marciano has denied the allegations.

“I have pledged my full cooperation to the company, and I have the utmost confidence in our CEO, Victor Herrero, to continue leading the company during this time,” Marciano said, in a statement.

Guess, founded in 1981, said that it had formed a committee to look into Upton’s claims and that Marciano’s future at the company would be decided upon the completion of the investigation.

“The company takes very seriously any allegations of sexual misconduct, is committed to maintaining a safe work environment, and looks forward to the completion of a thorough investigation of all the facts,” the company statement said.

Manufacturing and trade reporter Shwanika Narayan can be reached at or (323) 556-8351. Follow her on Twitter @shwanika.