Gen Art benefit stimulates memorable mingling

SAN FRANCISCO’S MISSION DISTRICT – Levende Lounge buzzed with early Valentine vibes as creative professionals showed off their best wit and warmth to celebrate Gen Art and the local talent this organization has helped to usher into the national spotlight. 7×7 Magazine, San Francisco’s stylish magazine for the young and affluent, hosted “A Night With Aphrodite” special party to benefit Gen Art SF Tuesday, Feb. 8.

The evening’s theme played upon the upcoming Valentine’s Day and included special Aphrodites handing out such love goodies as feathered masks, chocolates and heart-shaped beads. Raffle items included a weekend at the Village at Squaw, including two nights lodging and a spa treatment. All proceeds from the evening went to benefit the Gen Art Foundation, an arts and entertainment group that promotes emerging talent.

Associate Editor ChloÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Harris explained how much her publication appreciates Gen Art’s role in supporting local San Francisco talent. “It’s important for us at 7×7 to understand the local art and fashion scene, and it is very nice to work with Gen Art because of their national perspective on the fashion scene,” said Harris. “They do a wonderful job bringing it home to us.”

As party goers enjoyed complimentary French bubblies courtesy of Moet & Chandon Champagne, sprightly Aphrodites swooned from guest to guest to usher in that Valentine’s charm with a cherub’s touch. When bestowing ruby heart-shaped beads upon SFMOMA Contemporary Extension manager Josh Quinn, Natasha Hahn beamed and whispered, “As angels, we need to spread the Valentine’s Day spirit. Although, people seem to be mixing pretty well on their own at the party,” said Hahn, a model for JE Talent, LLC of San Francisco.

Talking with the lovely Georgina Szabo, Weddings on Film, who with video partner Justin Ferar, Justin Ferar Production Group, were documenting the excitement of the event, I realized how noteworthy the party scene was to mingle with so many other media professionals. “My work is so much fun for me because I am able to get out and meet professional people who are, at the same time, enjoying themselves at events such as this,” she said. “There are many fashionable people and personalities that enjoy the attention the camera gives them, and I get so much out of it.”

Ariane MacLean, Director of Gen Art San Francisco, was very pleased with the fundraiser and thanked 7×7 Magazine for its support. “It is an incredible turn out of people and talent who are simply enjoying themselves pouring champagne and mingling at Levende Lounge,” she said.

MacLean said her organization is helping to put San Francisco on the international map of fashion. “The San Francisco fashion scene is playing host to many up and coming incredible fashion designers,” she said. “Unlike New York, San Francisco is not known for its fashion, but the city has great talent, and we are here to discover that talent.”

Gen Art, along with L’Oreal Feria, recently sponsored a New York Fashion Week show featuring three of today’s rising design stars: New York’s Charlotte, New York’s Vena Cava and Los Angeles’ Society for Rational Dress. The show was held at the Grand Ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel for a capacity crowd of 900 people. Guests included many major editors and members of the media and retailers, as well as such celebrities as Bethany Joy Lenz, WB’s “One Tree Hill”, and Diane Neal of NBC’s “Law & Order SVU”.

Levende Lounge is located at 1710 Mission Street (at Duboce) in the Mission.

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