Mackage Appoints New CEO, Plans to Phase Out Fur

Mackage Appoints New CEO, Plans to Phase Out Fur

Tanya Golesic is Mackage’s new chief executive. Courtesy.

The Canadian luxury outerwear company has named fashion industry veteran Tanya Golesic as its new chief executive, and will release a timeline detailing upcoming environmental initiatives — including the phasing out of fur — in September.

“It’s a very important period from a company standpoint to be able to continue to drive into the sustainability piece,” said Golesic, who added that Mackage hopes to set a timeline that stands apart from other brands — whose targets are years down the line.

The upcoming timeline will also highlight the initiatives the brand has already begun work on, including the sustainability strategy it first rolled out in 2017, as well as the fact that it’s exclusively used down feathers that met the Responsible Down Standard traceability protocols and manufactured its leather products in Leather Working Group “Gold Certified” tanneries.

Mackage’s fur announcement comes at a tough moment for the fur industry, which has long been on the decline and suffered a particularly tough year. Since March, several brands announced plans to phase out use of the material, including Kering-owned brands Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga, as well as fellow Canadian outerwear labels Canada Goose and Moose Knuckles, who both said they’d intend to eliminate fur by the end of 2022.

Beyond carrying out the brand’s fur plans, Golesic — who has led teams at labels including Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Canada Goose, Marc Jacobs and Ralph Lauren — will focus on shoring up the brand’s global retail footprint (both physical and digital), its sustainability efforts and storytelling surrounding them and beefing up Mackage’s product offering beyond apparel.

Mackage is set to open stores in key luxury markets over the next few years, prioritising China and Japan. It will also expand its e-commerce platforms globally. In the fall, the brand will expand its footwear line after launching a small capsule collection last year, and will also grow its accessories category, according to Golesic, focusing on travel-centric items.

The newly-named chief executive has experience in executing product collaborations, having worked on the Jimmy Choo x Off While and Canada Goose x Marc Jacobs team-ups. She said she hopes to make collaborations part of Mackage’s DNA where they make sense, in pursuit of “brand heat” and attracting new clientele.

“I’ve had different experiences in the luxury world, from Ralph Lauren to Marc Jacobs, and I think the one thing I’ve learned over the years is … understanding storytelling,” she said. “[Brand building] is really about storytelling, and there’s so much to tell.”

Further Reading: Does Fur Have a Future?

As brands that once relied on fur as a symbol of luxury back away from it, many are trying to move forward with their brand identity intact.

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