By and  on February 28, 2008

The report cards are in, and merchants say the contemporary market needs fresh styles and more price awareness for fall.

After trade shows and runway collections this month that they described as uninspired, retailers said they want to push designers beyond their comfort zones. The merchants said that explosive growth in the category has caused designers to play it safe and stay with proven trends too long. The call for taking more chances is complicated by a slowing economy in which shoppers are becoming more selective about their purchases.

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