MARIGAY MCKEE arrived at Saks Fifth Avenue in late 2013, and has departed a little over a year later by "mutual agreement" - but what is next for the former first lady of British department stores?
McKee's departure was announced over the Easter weekend, when it was confirmed that she would be replaced by Marc Metrick - a 15-year veteran of Saks. Far from her plans to elevate the brand being at fault, it seems that her management style was not a fit at Saks.
"There was never a question of taste level or where she wanted to take the business. She is a very smart, talented lady," a source close to Saks told WWD. "Culture and fit were the challenge. They saw that almost from day one."
McKee left her role as fashion and beauty director at Harrods in September 2013 and relocated to New York with her two teenage children to take the helm at American department store Saks later the same year. Assuming the role of president, and taking her Harrods chief marketing officer, Mark Briggs, with her, McKee was tasked with reinventing the fading grandeur of the NY institution, with a reported "billion-dollar budget" to make the changes.
"It's not so much recreating the brand as reliving it," she told Vogue's September 2014 issue. "I mean, this is the place that brought Schiaparelli, Chanel, and Poiret from Paris to New York. This was one of those gold-standard New York sights that I used to visit with my parents as a kid."
Love affair over, what's next for McKee? Harrods promoted two of her team to replace her role (a sign of the scope of her remit), and with fashion and beauty in her CV and four languages in her arsenal, the world is McKee's oyster. Set to marry private equity banker William Ford this year, she may take a little personal time to regroup before dipping her toe back in department store waters - but with three decades in retail behind her, it's unlikely she'll stay away for long.