I heart Gen Art

i heart Gen Art

i heart Gen Art 15th Anniversary Benefit
Wednesday, June 24
7:00pm – 8:00pm: Preview for VIP ticketed guests and 8:00pm – 11:00pm: General Admission
7 West 34th Street, 11th Floor
(Near 5th Avenue)

With music from DJ Rage Johnson and DJ Pazel
Honorary Chairpersons
Zac Posen, Adrian Grenier, Nick Cannon, Georgina Chapman, William H. Macy,
Adrien Brody, Rebecca Taylor, John Leguizamo, and Alan Cumming

Everyone’s been to one of Gen Art’s fab soirees, you know the ones where you find your new fave emerging designer while flirting with a pretty young thing, all with a delicious cocktail in hand. Tomorrow night is the i heart Gen Art 15th Anniversary Benefit, so get get ready for cocktail hour and to loosen those wallets and purse strings. Times are tough for everyone currently, but the fashion and art industry is taking a big hit. Gen Art, the organization with art, film and music programs, is calling out an SOS. In this difficult economic time, with decreased support from corporate America, Gen Art is looking to its loyal supporters of the past 15 years as well as new friends to help it to celebrate its successes and to come together to support the organization in its time of need. Ian Gerard, Gen Art’s cofounder, talks about their dire situation.

Gen Art has been as ravaged by the economic downturn as the emerging designers it seeks to support. “Our main source of revenue [has been] corporate marketing dollars,” said Gerard, who founded Gen Art with his brother Stefan in 1993. “That seemed solid, like something you’d never have to worry about, but everyone was caught off guard by how quickly things froze up. Unfortunately, we weren’t as diversified as we could have been. Three of our largest sponsors were in the financial and auto sectors.”

With unemployment rates rapidly rising, Gen Art sadly has laid off a third of its staff and turned three of its five regional offices into virtual operations since December, many to which are my very own dear friends. Half of the remaining staff that were lucky enough to stay on will be furloughed for the slow months of July and August, in an attempt to lower costs.

Gerard hopes through the benefit and support for their marketing budgets will revitalize them before September and New York Fashion Week, during which Gen Art hosts its signature Fresh Faces in Fashion show, a group runway presentation that spotlights new designers. With big names under their belt, such as — Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, Vena Cava, Geren Ford, Peter Som Rodarte and with many more designers to be discover .

Tomorrow night seems like do or die, as the benefit has been planned as a life line to raise $250,000 via ticket sales and donations. Co-founder Gerard isn’t one to beat around the bush about the fact that Gen Art needs to raise an additional $500,000 in investment capital or face a very grim future.

Below are pictures of some of my favorite past Gen Art events.

Credit: Gen Art and WWD

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