NEW YORK--Ellin J. Saltzman, who was named fashion director of The Limited Inc. Monday, said she would work with the designer-oriented Henri Bendel and the moderate-priced Express, Limited, Lerner New York and Lane Bryant divisions. The post is a new one at the $7 billion specialty store operator. Monday's announcement by The Limited confirmed a report in these columns Nov. 16. "I will be keeping The Limited and its women's divisions abreast of the trends that are right for them," Saltzman said. She starts her new job Monday, and on Wednesday she's off to Europe with Michael Weiss, vice chairman of the corporation, "to get a feeling" of the retail scene there. Cities on the tour are Milan, Florence, Dusseldorf, Paris, London and Antwerp, Belgium. The Limited dispatches personnel to cities around the world to bring back fashions it can knock off for its divisions. "Ellin is one of the top fashion talents in the country, and now she will share her skills with the leaders in our fashion businesses," said Weiss, in a statement. Of all the divisions with which she will be involved, "Bendel's is the area I know best," said Saltzman, whose background is primarily in high-end specialty retailing. Her last job, from April 1992 to last June, was fashion director of Bergdorf Goodman. She was corporate fashion director at R.H. Macy & Co. from August 1989 to April 1992, and worked extensively with the upscale I. Magnin division, which will be liquidated after Thanksgiving. Saltzman worked at Saks Fifth Avenue from 1975 to 1989 as fashion director. In general, The Limited's women's divisions have performed poorly in the Nineties. In the latest period, however, there was some improvement due to reduced inventories, better margins and higher quality goods. Working with the lower-priced Limited divisions represents "a major challenge," Saltzman said, adding that her knowledge of the designer business could be helpful. "Good fashion can be translated. I think the trends filter up and filter down," she said. She also said she believed her links to designers could be beneficial. The Limited, based in Columbus, Ohio, has said it wanted to build its design team and improve its fashion content. Saltzman will be based at Bendel's headquarters here at 20 West 43rd St.
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