MAC shake up as creative head James Gager steps down

March 16, 2017 Written by 

Cult beauty brand MAC has announced that creative director James Gager will step down after 18 years at the helm, according to a report by WWD.com.

Gager will hand over the reins to Toni Lakis, who worked alongside Gager for 14 years on the brand, before moving over to Tiffany & Co in 2014.

Having a speciality in smaller brands, Gager has been heralded for turning MAC from a boutique brand into the global sensation it is today, with the 70-year-old said to be behind the recent Ulta deal.

The creative shake-up is said to be the Estée Lauder-owned brand’s way in which to stay ahead in the digitally advanced market, with Gager moving over to Senior Vice President, Creative Director and Brand Development of Estée Lauder Companies as of May 1 following a transitional handover period with Lakis.

Gager told WWD.com, “There is so much more to go [for MAC], but I know my heart lies in smaller brands – and MAC is a really big brand. I want to be able to effect real change and directional change and see growth happen [with smaller brands].
“I’m getting back to my roots of working with smaller brands – changing and enhancing their direction and hopefully watching them blossom.”

Louise Prance Miles

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