DESIGN COMPETITION: Gen Art will host its third annual international fashion design competition on April 10.
Called Gen Art/Nokia Styles 2001, the judged event will open with a runway presentation of the 25 finalists, with $25,000 awarded to the one winner in the five categories of women’s sportswear, men’s wear, women’s avant-garde, women’s eveningwear and accessories. The deadline for submissions is March 16 and a selection committee of fashion editors, stylists and retailers will narrow the submissions to the 25 finalists by March 23.
Nokia will present two design vision awards and Swarovski will bestow a design vision award for eveningwear and accessories. In addition, London-based gin purveyor Beefeater is challenging designers to reinterpret its Yeoman Warder uniform from its label for the international design competition.

COLUMBIA ON THE CONTINENT: Columbia Sportswear Co. has reached an agreement to purchase property in Cambrai, France, to build a new distribution facility.
The 269,000-square-foot structure will be used to distribute Columbia apparel and footwear throughout the European Union nations. Scheduled to open in the summer of 2002, the $30 million facility will replace the company’s current distribution network through an independent logistics company based in The Netherlands.

THE COLLECTIVE: The third Nouveau Collective trade show will take place from May 5-8 at Manhattan’s Park Central Hotel.
The previous show, held Feb. 17-20, featured 150 vendors carrying a total of 420 labels. More than 800 buyers walked through the hotel over the weekend, said Joanne Feinstein, director of the show.

CLEAN YOUR CLOSET: Dress For Success, which provides interview suits and career development programs to low-income women, will hold “Clean Your Closet Week” from March 17-24.
Anyone can help during the week by donating gently worn suits, organizing a suit drive, making a financial donation or volunteering at a Dress For Success shop in more than 60 cities worldwide. Sponsored by Arthur Andersen, Bliss, Citigroup, Dockers and GM Design Group, this nonprofit organization has helped more than 60,000 women gain the confidence they need to enter the workforce.

ROTHSCHILD’S MEN: Outerwear maker S. Rothschild & Co. has established a new corporate division, Rothschild Men, to handle all of its men’s wear operations. Paul M. Deutschman has been appointed to head up this business venture, said Mark Friedman, president.
The new division will encompass three collections for its initial fall 2001 season: a better-priced line under the Larry Levine name; Boston Outfitters, a moderate-priced active line; and William Barry, a value-priced classics label.