GEN ART HEATS UP: Collections from around the world will be judged on May 16 at the eighth annual Gen Art Styles 2006 competition at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan. A selection committee of top stylists and fashion market editors from Lucky, SOMA and Nylon Magazine, in addition to buyers from Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys New York and Henri Bendel, have picked 30 finalists from almost 800 entries in categories such as ready to wear, avant garde and men’s wear. Submissions came from 33 states and 28 countries, including Pakistan, South Korea and Indonesia. This year’s judges include designers Diane von Furstenberg, John Bartlett, Joseph Abboud and Rebecca Taylor; Michael Fink, senior fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue; Tim Gunn, chairman of the fashion department at Parsons School of Design, and accessories designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex.
CUP OF JOE: A coffee cup may not mean much to most New Yorkers, but Kate and Andy Spade are proud to have theirs. The founders of accessory firm Kate Spade were honored on Thursday night at the 17th Annual Lower Manhattan Cultural Council dinner with the Creative Achievement Award for their support of the arts. The award itself is a painted, handcrafted paper and plastic cup by the artist Seth Cameron, with a quote from artist Elizabeth Murray saying, “Art is an epiphany in a coffee cup.” Past winners include Hillary Clinton and Sonic Youth.