Julie Rosen is returning to Banana Republic on May 26 as senior vice president of merchandising.
A 15-year veteran of Gap Inc., Rosen will lead all product merchandising for Banana Republic, including men’s, women’s and accessories, as well as manage licensing relationships with third-party vendors. She will report to Banana Republic president Jack Calhoun. She succeeds Nick Coe, who left at the end of 2008 to become president of the Lands’ End unit of Sears Holdings Corp.
“We’re pleased to have her back, especially during these challenging economic times for consumers, where product differentiation and distinct assortments are so vital to our brand’s success.,” said Calhoun.
Banana Republic has been attempting to reestablish its image and appeal amid difficult sales trends and drooping traffic. Recently, Gap chairman and chief executive Glenn Murphy criticized the clothes for becoming too serious and losing their cool factor, though he did characterize Banana Republic as still a significant and important part of the Gap portfolio. Earlier this year when the retailer issued its fourth-quarter report card, Murphy characterized Banana Republic’s performance as disappointing, affected by the pullback in the luxury market, though it’s positioned as affordable luxury. He also mentioned the possibility of closing some of the chain’s 450 units.
During the Nineties, Rosen held a similar role at Banana Republic and was part of the team that repositioned the brand as “affordable luxury,” the company said.
Between 1991 and 2006, she held merchandising roles of increasing responsibility at Gap, including head of merchandising for Gap brand.
After leaving Gap in 2006, Rosen worked for a short period as senior vice president of merchandising at Bare Escentuals, but mostly she’s been working as a consultant to various brands including Theory, Nike and Chrome Hearts, according to Gap.
“I grew up here, and I’m delighted to be back,” said Rosen. “Banana Republic is a strong brand with an incredible legacy, and I’m looking forward to helping the team take the brand forward.”
Banana Republic’s fall collection is being themed around what creative director Simon Kneen termed “being prepared for anything and everything in the face of adversity.” The collection includes chunky knits, tailored military jackets, skinny leather pants and silk dresses.
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews