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Shiseido Has a New Creative Director

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From left: Michael Lastoria and Doug Jacob, co-founders, JWALK. Jacob will become chief creative director, Shiseido Americas.

Since forming in 2010, creative agency JWALK has cut its teeth on brand work for bareMinerals barePRO, Buxom and Kenneth Cole's Reaction fragrance. Now, Shiseido has acquired the firm and installed its co-founder, Doug Jacob, as chief creative director. He will report directly to Jill Scalamandre, president of Shiseido’s Global Makeup Center of Excellence.

It has been an exciting time of transformation for Shiseido. Recently, the company launched its Global Makeup Center of Excellence in New York, appointed a range of new management, acquired new brands such as RéVive and Laura Mercier, and purchased advanced AI via MatchCo, which will allow the company to customize products on a mass scale.

"JWALK will be an integral part of our global strategy for accelerating makeup growth across our portfolio. I have been a big fan of their work for several years, and look forward to leveraging their creative vision, as they become a key pillar within the Center of Excellence."

JWALK will work directly with Shiseido’s brand teams from concept to delivery, according to the company, leveraging JWALK's "digital savviness" to "strengthen each brand’s creative consistency across all consumer touchpoints."

Under terms of the deal, JWALK will continue to work with new and existing non-competitive clients, which it claims will further develop its competitive edge and talent pool.

JWALK was founded by Jacob, Michael Lastoria and Charlie Walk. Its resources will provide Shiseido with "cutting-edge creative and digital design power to support the company’s brands," according to an official announcement.

“This acquisition immediately sets Shiseido apart from the traditional approach to beauty marketing and how companies like ours approach creative excellence. By infusing JWALK into our entire creative process, we will not only be able to achieve organic, 360-degree results, but we will also have greater speed and agility in both the assets we create and the way we work."

"Creative excellence is at the core of consumer communication and is key to building the value of our prestige brands,” said Masahiko Uotani, president and CEO of Shiseido Group. “I am convinced that JWALK will add significant intangible value and capabilities to our marketing efforts, especially in leveraging their digital communication expertise. I also look forward to JWALK’s collaboration with our creative teams in Tokyo on key projects to deliver creative excellence on a global scale."

“Creative power and agility have never been more important to a brand’s success," said Marc Rey, president and CEO of Shiseido Americas. "JWALK’s team members are bold, talented experts who have delivered stunning results by pushing the envelope in thoughtful, innovative and integrative ways. They bring tremendous expertise and energy in creative content, digital design, and brand building and will help our brands drive creative excellence across the board.”

Rey continued, “This acquisition immediately sets Shiseido apart from the traditional approach to beauty marketing and how companies like ours approach creative excellence. By infusing JWALK into our entire creative process, we will not only be able to achieve organic, 360-degree results, but we will also have greater speed and agility in both the assets we create and the way we work. I am excited to welcome JWALK into our team as we drive our brands to the next level of success.”

"The team and I are excited to work on this industry-leading portfolio of beauty brands, and have the ability to play a truly substantive role in the development process," said Jacob. "JWALK's experience as entrepreneurs and thought leaders in service and consumer brands will be pivotal in contributing to the growth and innovation of Shiseido projects from the ground up."

Jacob continued, “Michael and I were never intending to sell JWALK. When this opportunity was presented to us by Marc and Jill, it aligned with our values and goals to continue to lead with design. The innovation and understanding of the creative process at Shiseido was unlike any other company we had dealt with. The way in which we set up this partnership allows us to remain at the forefront of the creative space, attracting the best talent in our industry and continuing our tradition of being bold in business and innovation. Essentially, we can ‘JWALK’ as we always have, and also be part of the next chapter of growth for the Shiseido portfolio.”

“I’m excited to begin working more closely with Doug and his team," said Scalamandre. "JWALK will be an integral part of our global strategy for accelerating makeup growth across our portfolio. I have been a big fan of their work for several years, and look forward to leveraging their creative vision, as they become a key pillar within the Center of Excellence.”

“This is a moment for JWALK to evolve while continuing to challenge the status quo as an agency, and as entrepreneurs that have always flown in the face of tradition," said Lastoria.