GEN ART TURNS 10: A decade after its first Fresh Faces in Fashion event in Los Angeles, Gen Art still has a knack for creating buzz for the accessories and clothing designers it selects to make their runway debuts with the nonprofit arts and entertainment organization’s support.

The City of Angels’ Gen Art alumni include trendsetters in the contemporary and designer sectors such as: Louis Verdad, Michelle Mason, Grey Ant, Corey Lynn Calter, Development, Geren Ford, Howe, Katy Rodriguez, Mon Petit Oiseau, Tarina Tarantino, Wyeth by Todd Magill and Ya-Ya. Among Gen Art’s fashion participants in Los Angeles and New York, which started five years before its West Coast counterpart, CFDA award winners include Phillip Lim, who had shown at Gen Art with Development, Zac Posen and Alexandre Plokhov for Cloak. Rodarte and Duckie Brown were among CFDA nominees.

This story first appeared in the October 3, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Gen Art on Oct. 12 will stage its spring 2008 presentations at the Petersen Automotive Museum, showing CW Christian Weber, Dorothy Lee, Marlova, Rhys Dwfen, Suh-Tahn and Wren for women’s wear; Endovanera and Orthodox for men’s wear, and Anita Hopkins, Cerre, Mannin Collection and Shane by Brooks Salzwedel for accessories.

However, one runway show does not make a business. That’s why Jennifer Egan, vice president of development in Gen Art’s Los Angeles office, wants to continue supporting designers by sponsoring trunk shows and seminars on topics such as how to land in a showroom. Although Los Angeles’ fashion week isn’t noted on the international fashion calendar, “In Los Angeles, you have more disparate and eclectic work,” she said. “It’s all so different yet beautiful and fabulous.”

— Khanh T.L. Tran

BEAUTY QUEEN JEANS: As if one pageant winner wasn’t enough for YMI, the Los Angeles jeans maker is featuring a trifecta of beauty queens in its new multimillion dollar ad campaign for holiday, which breaks this month. Miss Teen USA Hilary Carol Cruz will join Miss USA Rachel Smith and Miss Universe Riyo Mori in what YMI said will be the first time all three crown holders appear together in an international and U.S. promotion. Under the eye of lensman George Holz, who shot campaigns for L’Oréal and other brands, the ads will break in domestic and foreign publications such as Teen Vogue, Seventeen, OK!, Cosmopolitan en Espanol and Canada’s Flare, in addition to billboards on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip and in New York’s Times Square. Channeling the theme of “backstage access,” each beauty queen will be photographed in a dressing room for individual ads along with a group shot. Miss Teen USA represents trendy subbrand City of Angels, Miss USA personifies the premium line and Miss Universe aligns with a new contemporary line dubbed YMI Royalty. “What each girl does is capture the mood and styling of the product,” said Dina DeFazio, YMI’s marketing director.

— K.T.L.T.

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