By and and  on March 24, 2009

NEW YORK — How long can the little guy last?

As department and specialty stores react to the recession by trimming the number of collections they carry, demanding lower prices or asking for more markdown money, the small, quirky, edgy or underground designers these retailers used to fight over and flaunt are getting squeezed. Gone, at least for now, are the days when a store was willing to carry a line because of the buzz it generated — now the bucks are all that matters.

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