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Gen Art Leaves Behind Duped Designers, Thwarted Job-Seekers

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The good old days via <a href="http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2009/08/genart.jpg">Gawker</a>
The good old days via Gawker

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The hits just keep on coming in the wake of last week's announcement that art and fashion incubator Gen Art was closing. The latest Gen Art scandal is that the company apparently took and will not return payments from young indie designers who bought booth space for now-canceled shopping events originally scheduled for this Thursday in Chicago and next Thursday in New York. That's pretty low, since indie designers are the starving artists of the fashion world and Gen Art is supposed to support them.

Kate Coxworth, a Chicago-based indie designer who paid $550 to Gen Art, tells WWD, "My booth fee was cashed on April 22. It's not like it was months ago. They used our money to float their company for another few weeks." Even though contracts claimed that money would be refunded due to cancellation, no refunds have been issued and calls and emails to organizers have not been returned.

Even shadier, last Tuesday, one day before the closure announcement, Gen Art founder Ian Gerard claimed that Gen Art had no intention of “milking money” from the designers that the organization was founded to support. Gerard also claims that the organization stopped accepting payments on April 30, but that's two days too late for Ms. Coxworth and other duped designers.

In additional Gen Art news: MTV will be debuting a new and timely docu-series titled Hired, which follows young job seekers on their road to pursuing their dream jobs. "Dream" companies participating include Steve Madden, Organic Avenue, Warren Tricomi and, get this, Gen Art. Guess who else won't be getting a call back?
· Young Designers Angry with GenArt [WWD subscription req'd]
· MTV Opening On-Screen Employment Agency for People Who Aren't on "the Real World" [The Awl]
· Closings [Racked]