You've probably heard that Gen Art--the beloved arts organization dedicated to showcasing the talents of emerging artists, musicians, filmmakers and designers--was revived this week under new leadership. Sandow Media acquired the arts organization, installing Gen Art vets Elizabeth Shaffer and Jeffrey Abramson as co-presidents.
And with the revival of Gen Art comes the revival of Fresh Faces in Fashion, the program which famously launched the careers of Zac Posen, Phillip Lim and Vena Cava (to name a few). Except this go round, Gen Art plans to put more effort into nurturing the talented designers they take on beyond giving them a runway show.
"At the former Gen Art, once we made the intro and showcased designers, we let them go on their way," said co-president Elizabeth Shaffer. "Now we’re developing a relationship so we stay connected and offer services beyond their debut--ranging from licensing to representation." Shaffer says Gen Art also plans to take advantage of these collab-happy times by helping to forge partnerships between established labels and emerging designers.
Because oh how the times have changed from when Fresh Faces of Fashion first launched in 1995. In 1995 there was no twitter, no Facebook, no Project Runway and, most importantly, no e-commerce. The new Gen Art plans to take advantage of social media and the digital marketplace to showcase more designers throughout the year. And even if you're a designer who is not runway ready, you might still show promise enough for Gen Art to take you under its wing.
"We'll be showcasing more designers throughout the year," said Shaffer. "We want to be able to introduce designers who may not be ready to show on the runway but are well on their way. We can provide guidance early on and get them out there. You can still sell and create signature pieces online and develop an online following before you’re ready to show on the runway."
As for the lucky few designers who are runway ready to debut at Fresh Faces in Fashion? Gen Art is currently looking for designers for spring 2012 and should have the list of names come August. We'd wager that one of our favorite emerging labels, JF & Son, should make the cut--they were featured as part of Gen Art's partnership with YOOX.com this past fashion week which offered shoppers the chance to purchase JF & Son's current spring collection.