Countless African children go forgotten during war conflicts, but there was nothing invisible about them Thursday when Billabong promoted a charity speaking out for the kids at its Design For Humanity event in Hollywood.
In an East-Coast-meets-West-Coast style, California celebrities and surfers partied for a good cause on “New York” streets at Paramount Studios.
It was Billabong’s fourth annual Design for Humanity event, but first at the movie set location. Each year, the company chooses a different charity to support, and this year the proceeds are going to Invisible Children. The organization raises funds for families affected by the war in Northern Uganda.
“I think it’s an exciting time for culture because you have a brand like Billabong that wants to give back and they want to give back to a young charity,” said Invisible Children Founder Jason Russell.
The charity is also backed by celebrities, including actress AnnaLynne McCord who has previously lobbied for the cause in Washington D.C. and who attended Thursday’s event.
“I’m a big supporter of Invisible Children,” McCord said.
Other famous faces to show up on the red carpet included RJ Mitte of “Breaking Bad,” Ryan Hansen of “Party Down” and Cassidy Freeman of “Smallville.”
“Every good cause is worth giving your time to,” Freeman said.
Thursday’s fashion-music-art extravaganza included live music performances, a runway bikini fashion show and an art exhibit -- as well as the opportunity for partygoers to watch several pieces of art created and auctioned off during the event.
“I think it’s awesome that they’re raising money for this thing, that artists are getting together to have an anti-war vision,” said Brian Fick, Billabong staff photographer who displayed his photos at the event.
Artemis Nolasco said she was grateful to show her paintings in the gallery and hoped they would sell.
“You look at the quality of your life and you think about other people who are struggling and you can’t help but want to help them,” said the artist, who also works for Billabong. “It’s exciting to be a part of this whole event, having fun but also helping this charity.”
Of course, you can’t have a Billabong event without surfers and there were plenty to be seen, including pro surfer Keala Kennelly, Taylor Pitz, Dane Zaun and Maya Gabeira.
“I’ve been a part of Design for Humanity for years and this is the best party we have thrown,” Kennelly said. “I think it’s amazing when a company can take its power and its market and use that to make a charity prosper and succeed.”
Design for Humanity is the creation of Billabong Women's Brand Director Candy Harris.
For more information on Design for Humanity, click here.
For more on Invisible Children, click here.