Gen Art has long been an avid supporter of emerging designers and artists in New York City--from hosting annual fashion shows to massive shopping events and more. But the dire financial straits plaguing the rest of the country are leaving the much-lauded organization in dire need of help. As Gen Art founder Ian Gerard told WWD: "Our main source of revenue [has been] corporate marketing dollars ... That seemed solid, like something you’d never have to worry about, but everyone was caught off guard by how quickly things froze up."
Apparently, things have gotten so bad that Gen Art has laid off a third of its staff since December, and furloughed half of the remaining staff for July and August. Gerard is no doubt aware that many involved in fashion--whether within the media or outside of it--look forward to the company's annual "Fresh Faces" fashion show during Fashion Week, and is hopeful in his appeal to their wallets for support. As the company boasts an incredible roster of discoveries--from Zac Posen to Vena Cava to recent CFDA winner Rodarte--the organization's due for some celebrating.
So, like any good fashion organization, they're throwing a party. Tonight's "I Heart Gen Art" benefit will bring together a really spectacular lineup of honorary chairpersons ranging from celebrities (Adrien Grenier, Nick Cannon, Adrien Brody) to designers (Zac Posen, Rebecca Taylor, Georgina Chapman of Marchesa). Best of all, the event will also highlight more than 60 up-and-coming designers: You may not know their names now, but wait a few years.
General admission for Gen Art non-members is $90 ($75 for members), or if you're feeling really flush, invest in a VIP ticket that includes a special pre-reception, goodie bag, and access to what are sure to be some see-and-be-seen after-parties ($150 for non-members, $135 for members).