Target's Aim: The Designer's Edge

The No. 3 discount retailer is crafting a savvy -- but not riskless -- strategy to gain cachet. Call it: Cheap chic

The clothing deal last December with Marc Ecko, a hip-hop-inspired youth designer, turned heads. Earlier in February, the big announcement was a partnership with bad-boy designer Stephen Sprouse, best known for his day-glo and graffiti-covered garments. Now, whispers abound that snazzy dress designer Cynthia Rowley, co-author of Swell: A Girls Guide to the Good Life, may be about to join the parade.

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