Julie Rosen is returning to specialty clothing retailer Gap Inc as senior vice president of merchandising for Banana Republic.

A 15-year veteran of the company, 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.

"Julie is a tremendously talented merchant and leader who keenly understands our brand and customer," said Banana Republic president Jack Calhoun.

"We're thrilled to have her back, especially during these challenging economic times for consumers where product differentiation and distinct assortments are so vital to a brand's success."

Rosen held a similar role at Banana Republic during much of the 1990s, and was part of the team that successfully repositioned the brand as an 'affordable luxury' shopping destination.

Between 1991 and 2006, she held merchandising roles of increasing responsibility at Gap Inc, including her role as head of merchandising for Gap brand.

After leaving Gap in 2006, Rosen served as a strategic consultant to several apparel retail brands including Theory, Nike and luxury brand Chrome Hearts.

Banana Republic, the most upscale chain in Gap's portfolio, has been hit by sliding sales as cost-conscious shoppers switch to cheaper rivals.

In its most recent results, the company said fourth quarter same-store sales fell 15% at Banana Republic, with a drop of 10% for the year as a whole.