Every day in June, FN is showcasing female leaders across the industry for our Women in Power series.
As the architect of Liberty London’s new branding and mission statement, Madeleine Macey is leading a new era at the venerable department store.
“I’m proud to be a champion of change,” said Macey, who got her start in fashion as a 20-year-old model for Roland Mouret. “I saw the opportunity, and started picking up the phone and getting involved — and ended up being his head of press by 23, running international runway shows and launching the phenomenon of the Galaxy dress.”
Now the chief marketing officer and creative director is determined to break down gender stereotypes as she helps empower the next generation, including her 5-year-old son. “I look among my son’s female classmates and they’re all wearing pink and wanting to be princesses, not superheroes,” Macey lamented. “Of course you can be pretty and powerful, but it terrifies me we are still endorsing this subservience, the idea of needing to be rescued and protected. We need to imbue freedom of expression, confidence and equality in our young ones, male and female.”
At Liberty, Macey said she has learned to appreciate her own abilities and understands when it’s right to push for growth. “I created my current role. I recognized a business need to align our messaging and content across the group, made it happen and then asked for the recognition, which I was granted [when I was made] chief marketing officer and creative director. Was this the right approach? I have no idea. I am sure if I was a man, I would have demanded the title first and then done the work, but that’s just not who I am. I have always worked hard and delivered with a plan for the next step.”
Macey said she feels responsible for ensuring her own female-centric team is set up for success. “[I want] to get them to think about where and what they want to be in the future — encourage difficult conversations about progression,” Macey said. “I believe in enabling them to own their work.”
Watch FN’s video with recent cover star Tory Burch and Tabitha Simmons here.