LOS ANGELES — GenArt, the 16-year-old fashion and art organization that shuttered its New York-based operations in May, has relaunched here under a new owner and new leadership.
The company, founded by Ian and Stefan Gerard, was acquired in late December by Boca Raton, Fla.-based Sandow Media, which publishes New Beauty, Luxe Interiors + Design, Worth, Watch Journal and 944, among other niche titles. GenArt is the company’s first nonprint property and the first to be launched under Sandow’s experiential marketing division, AccessLab.
Co-presidents Elizabeth Shaffer and Jeffrey Abramson, who previously served as senior vice president, events and creative director, and senior vice president of film, respectively, will operate from GenArt’s new Los Angeles headquarters, while Ian Gerard will act as a consultant to the company.
GenArt plans to continue its Fresh Faces in Fashion event, which helped launch the careers of designers such as Rodarte, Rebecca Taylor and Jeffrey Sebelia. The event will be held in September in New York and in October in Los Angeles.
“While we’ve never tried to replicate what IMG has done, we would be open to a multiday event that included more programs in addition to a runway show, which could highlight more designers,” said Shaffer.
The company also hopes to be able to nurture emerging designers beyond its events, helping them land agents, consulting gigs and licensing deals with funding via partnership dollars, grants, membership dues and event ticket sales. Shaffer said they also hope to form an alumni designer mentorship program for fledgling designers.
GenArt’s first event this year will be the 16th installment of its annual film festival, taking place in New York June 8 to 14. “The format will remain the same, but we’ll be doing more to connect filmmakers with audiences before, during and after the festival via branding partners, social media and the Internet,” said Abramson.
“Right now we are concentrating on rebuilding our core relationships and reengaging the community while increasing our brand equity,” said Shaffer, adding that “2012 will be the year to make more changes.”