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Banana Republic Promotes Hillman

Karyn Hillman, vice president of women’s merchandising at Banana Republic, has been appointed senior vice president at the chain.

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LOS ANGELES — Karyn Hillman, vice president of women’s merchandising at Banana Republic, has been appointed head of merchandising for the contemporary brand.

Hillman, 37, has 13 years of merchandising experience at parent company Gap Inc. In her new role as senior vice president, she will oversee men’s and women’s merchandising at Banana Republic, reporting to president Marka Hansen. Hillman replaces Julie Rosen, who left in February to become head of merchandising for the Gap brand.

Hillman “has shown extraordinary leadership in creating compelling merchandising strategies for Banana Republic’s women’s collections, [and plays] an instrumental role in the elevation of Banana Republic and…the brand’s continued evolution,” Hansen said in a statement.

Banana Republic tapped Jenna Renfrew to replace Hillman as vice president of women’s merchandising. Renfrew comes from Nike, where she was head of kids’ apparel.

In another announcement, Mark Breitbard, 36, vice president of men’s merchandising at Banana Republic, has been named senior vice president at GapKids and BabyGap. He will report to Gap president Gary Muto. Breitbard, a seven-year veteran of Gap Inc., replaces Tara Poseley, who left in June to join modern furniture retailer Design Within Reach.

Breitbard has “a deep understanding of our customers and the emotional connections they build with our brands,” Muto said in a statement. “This experience, combined with the passion and creativity…will help lead the Kids and Baby teams in continuing their work to deliver great product and an emotional brand experience to our customers.”

Gap Inc. operates 3,015 stores under Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy brands, and generated a total of $15.9 billion in sales for fiscal 2003.

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