WWD.com/fashion-news/fashion-features/gen-art-planning-competition-to-seek-out-fresh-designers-502930/

NEW YORK — Gen Art is officially looking for new talent.

The arts and entertainment organization is accepting submissions for its ninth annual International Styles Competition and Runway Show, scheduled for May 23 at the Hammerstein Ballroom here.

Twenty-five young designers will vie for more than $35,000 in cash prizes. The finalists show their clothing designs and compete before a panel of judges, who have included Nicole Miller, Diane von Furstenberg, Betsey Johnson, Tim Gunn and Saks Fifth Avenue’s Michael Fink.

March 30 is the deadline for open call submissions in the categories of women’s ready-to-wear, men’s wear, women’s avant-garde, women’s eveningwear and accessories. April 13 is the deadline for the Perrier “Bubbling Under” award for design. For that honor, Perrier is asking aspiring designers to visualize and create the best design concepts based around the theme: “POP.” Five finalists from this competition will be showcased in installations and video presentations at the Styles show. Finalists will be judged during the event, and the winner will be chosen and announced that same evening and presented with a $10,000 check.

All entries in the five categories will be reviewed by a selection committee of top editors, stylists and retail buyers that will meet to select the finalists on April 20. The open call reaches out across the globe to emerging designers from all ends of the spectrum. The competition drew its largest pool last year, with more than 850 entries from more than 25 countries and 30 U.S. states.

This story first appeared in the March 16, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.