M.A.C. is making major moves this year. In addition to the highly anticipated Metallic Lips line set to drop this month and the announcement that the cult cosmetics are moving to Ulta stores, M.A.C. just announced a major leadership change—James Gager, the brand’s creative director of 18 years, is stepping down.
According to a report by Women’s Wear Daily, James Gager, M.A.C.’s creative director, is out after almost two decades with the makeup brand, turning in his keys to the M.A.C. kingdom in order to take on a larger creative and brand development role at The Estée Lauder Companies (M.A.C.’s parent company). While leading the brand, Gager played a huge role in making M.A.C. what it is today—taking it from the boutique-ish brand it was in the ’90s, to the multi-billion dollar empire it is now. He is also the man behind the Ulta expansion, a move he told WWD would provide access to “so many more people who couldn’t get their hands on M.A.C. before.”
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But before you freak out about the future of M.A.C., the beloved brand is in good hands. Gager is handing the reigns over to Toni Lakis, who served as his right hand for 14 years before leaving in 2014 to head up creative direction at Tiffany & Co. “She is a modern, proactive agent of change to help M.A.C. continue reaching more consumers and breaking through the clutter in today’s more digitally savvy universe,” John Demsey, executive group president at Estée Lauder, told WWD. “She has her own vision and…a strong point of view that we believe will take M.A.C. forward into the future.”
All hail M.A.C.’s new queen of cosmetics.
Now, a look at lip trends over the past 100 years: