Toni Lakis returns to the brand to lead a new chapter in M·A·C’s Creative evolution.
New York, NY, March 14, 12:01am – M·A·C announced today that Toni Lakis will lead its Creative Division in the role of Senior Vice President, Global Creative Director, M·A·C, effective March 20, 2017. Ms. Lakis will join the M·A·C leadership team and report directly to Karen Buglisi Weiler, Global Brand President, M·A·C; she will also have a matrix reporting line into John Demsey, Executive Group President, The Estée Lauder Companies, who leads the Company’s Creative Center of Excellence.
Ms. Lakis’s return to M·A·C comes at a time when the brand is primed to grow in new, modern and innovative ways. Known across the luxury industry as a world-class creative leader, her collaborative and cutting-edge approach to Creative, coupled with her boundary-pushing Creative vision will shape exciting, provocative and revolutionary experiences for the consumer.
Ms. Lakis succeeds celebrated Global Creative Director, James Gager, who will begin a new role at The Estée Lauder Companies, effective May 1, 2017.
After 37 years at The Estée Lauder Companies, and with more than 17 years leading M·A·C’s Global Creative division, Mr. Gager will depart from the brand to become Senior Vice President, Creative Director and Brand Development, The Estée Lauder Companies, consulting on special creative projects and acting as an advisor to the Jo Malone London Creative team. Effective May 1, 2017, Mr. Gager will report directly to Mr. Demsey for special projects and to Jean-Guillaume Trottier, Global Brand President, Jo Malone London, for his brand responsibilities. Ms. Lakis and Mr. Gager will work closely together to transition M·A·C creative responsibilities.
“James has made remarkable contributions to each of the brands that he has touched, most notably, M·A·C,” said John Demsey. “He helped make M·A·C the number one makeup brand in the world today, bringing beauty enthusiasts everywhere widely-admired and aspirational innovations impacting the entire cosmetics industry.”
Mr. Gager joined The Estée Lauder Companies in 1979 with the Estée Lauder brand and then was named Creative Director for Prescriptives, helping to elevate it as the fastest-growing brand in cosmetics during his tenure. He created visionary concepts including the All Skins campaign, which was one of the first to address the needs of diverse consumers.
He joined M·A·C in 1999. Under his creative leadership, the brand launched many of its most successful collaborations to date, including with fashion designers from Proenza Schouler to Alexander McQueen; with artists from Isabel and Ruben Toledo to Helmut Newton; with music legends from Diana Ross to Mariah Carey and with many fashion icons, from Daphne Guinness to Iris Apfel. His creative vision helped the brand outperform the prestige makeup category for many years and propelled M·A·C to become a leader in over 120 countries and territories globally.
Ms. Lakis is a long-time veteran of M·A·C. After holding several senior creative roles at luxury retailers including Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys New York, Ms. Lakis joined M·A·C in 2003. She spent more than 11 years alongside Mr. Gager, overseeing all creative imagery and production for the brand. She was instrumental in the creative of many iconic campaigns for the brand, including RiRi ♥ M·A·C, VIVA GLAM Lady Gaga, M·A·C Iris Apfel and M·A·C Beth Ditto.
In 2014, Ms. Lakis joined Tiffany & Co. to lead their Creative department as Vice President, Creative Director. With a vision to re-energize the heritage brand, she led the brand’s worldwide imagery strategy with a strong focus on digital and social media. One of her most recent and memorable achievements with Tiffany & Co. was its partnership with style icon Grace Coddington as the brand’s Creative Partner. Ms. Lakis led the partnership to create Tiffany’s Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 Legendary Style campaigns on multiple traditional and digital platforms, featuring women of style and substance: Lupita Nyong’o, Elle Fanning, Christy Turlington and Lady Gaga.
“Creativity is the heart and soul of M·A·C, and Toni’s vitality and experiential mindset will help M·A·C achieve its next chapter of growth,” said Karen Buglisi Weiler. “We are delighted to welcome Toni back to the M·A·C family.”
At the helm of M∙A∙C Creative, Ms. Lakis will oversee all aspects of Creative, including Creative Design, Visual Merchandising and Design, Store Design, Creative Packaging, International Retail and Special Events, Brand Messaging, Creative Services and Art Production. In partnership with Ms. Buglisi Weiler, she will collaborate closely with the M∙A∙C leadership team, including Product Development and Marketing, to drive brand equity through new modern creative concepts that inspire engaging and thought-provoking experiences for the consumer. Ms. Lakis will also work closely with the brand’s regions and local markets to ideate and create bespoke campaigns that express the brand in locally relevant ways that are true to M∙A∙C.
“Toni’s modern sensibility and creative vision will illuminate new dimensions of M∙A∙C to capture the hearts of new and loyal beauty enthusiasts everywhere,” Mr. Demsey added.
M·A·C (Make-up Art Cosmetics), a leading brand of professional cosmetics, was created in Toronto, Canada in 1984 and is part of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. The brand’s popularity has grown through a tradition of word-of-mouth endorsement from makeup artists, models, photographers and journalists around the world. M·A·C is now sold in 120 countries/territories worldwide. Follow M·A·C on Twitter, Periscope, Snapchat and Pinterest @MACcosmetics, become a M·A·C fan on Facebook, follow M·A·C on Instagram, watch M·A·C videos on YouTube. For a M·A·C location, visit maccosmetics.com.