Mackage Picks a New CEO

Mackage, the Canadian brand best known for luxury outerwear, has appointed veteran fashion executive Tanya Golesic as its chief executive officer, adding talent to the team to support growth initiatives.

Golesic succeeds Mackage founder Patrick Elfassy, who has become executive chairman. Elfassy is the brother of Mackage founder Eran Elfassy.

“Tanya’s results-driven approach will build brand desirability through innovative digital marketing, focused product assortments and international expansion in key markets. All will serve to accelerate the brand’s current trajectory,” said Patrick Elfassy in a statement.

“I’ve always had a deep admiration for Mackage,” Golesic told WWD, adding that she has known the Elfassy brothers for many years. “Patrick said this is our time to take Mackage to a larger platform. He said this is something I would be great at.”

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Earlier in her career, Golesic was global chief commercial officer at Canada Goose, another high-end outerwear brand. While there, she helped to recontextualize Canada Goose with product placements and partnerships at luxury fashion brands, including Marc Jacobs. Golesic also held executive roles at Marc Jacobs International, The Jones Group and Ralph Lauren Corp.

Golesic told WWD that her agenda would be to increase wholesale distribution, the brand’s retail footprint, and e-commerce.

She also said, “There are huge opportunities around the brand storytelling piece,” suggesting more aggressive marketing ahead. “There is so much that is good about Mackage that hasn’t been told.”

Golesic said the company is seeking to develop a retail footprint in Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong and South Korea, where the company does not yet operate stores. “We will be opening stores in Europe and Asia in the next three months — a handful.” She said it was too soon to specify future sites.

Mackage operates 11 stores, in Canada and U.S.

In addition, “We will continue to roll out the retail footprint in a pop up version, opportunistically,” in ski areas, such as Aspen, Colo., and the French Alps. They would be test markets for possible permanent stores.

The privately owned Mackage also wholesales to Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Holt Renfrew, Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, among other stores, conducts e-commerce, and is sold in more than 40 countries worldwide.

On the merchandise front, Golesic noted the company launched a footwear capsule collection last year and will do another this fall. Other category launches are being considered, though Golesic said she couldn’t yet specify which ones. “We just need to take some time and figure out how we map it out. We want to be super authentic,” she said.

The biggest category for the company remains luxury outerwear. Styles have technical performance characteristics such as being water-repellent, windproof and breathable. Active/athleisure-styled ready-to-wear, and accessories, are also offered. “You will see a significant shift as continue with more active-oriented rtw, and accessories and footwear.”

Asked if the unusually high temperatures recently in North America and Europe have impeded outerwear sales, Golesic replied: “Absolutely not. Mackage has a very broad assortment,” adding that the assortment offers lightweight down and heavier down outerwear, outerwear in other materials such as wool and leather, and runs the gamut from rainwear to skiwear.

Golesic said the company has early indications that there is a shift back to outerwear to complete an outfit and that the company has for fall a new “Cloud” collection in down. “It’s very, very lightweight and warm and functional. It almost feels like you are wrapping yourself in a huge cloud.

“Mackage has the capability to innovate at the highest levels in terms of fabrications, materials and sustainability, with the distribution and brand recognition to scale significantly,” Golesic said.

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