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Candy Harris on expanded Design for Humanity event and more

By Tiffany Montgomery
June 02, 2010 8:38 AM

Billabong’s Design For Humanity is only in its fourth year, but has grown exponentially since Billabong Women’s Brand Director Candy Harris brainstormed the fundraising event.

This year, Design for Humanity is making a big leap to a new, much larger location on the back lot of Paramount Studios in Hollywood.

We asked Candy some questions about the upcoming event, how she got the idea for Design for Humanity in the first place, and how she manages all the details.

The fashion-music-art block party on June 10 will feature two concert stages, DJ dance parties, a runway fashion show showcasing one of a kind Billabong bikinis, a custom art gallery in partnership with The Carmichael Gallery, live art installations, Hit+Run live t-shirt screen printing, food trucks, a VIP street, and more.

Electroclash duo Fischerspooner headlines the event, and 100% of ticket sales and proceeds from art show and product collaboration auction sales are being donated to Invisible Children, an organization raising awareness and funds for families affected by the long-standing war in Uganda, Africa.

To buy tickets and for more information, go to designforhumanity.com.

Why is Design For Humanity (DFH) moving to a new location?

Candy Harris: After selling out the Avalon venue for the past three years, we thought it was time to step it up! Not only does the new location at Paramount studios offer up the opportunity for more people to experience DFH, but it’s allowed us to take the concept to a whole new level.

From a fundraising standpoint, a larger capacity allows us to raise more money (we donate 100% of all ticket sales). From a creative aspect we get to host a huge outdoor block party with two concert stages, 4 DJs, live art installations, world-renowned art show, photography exhibits, food trucks, etc. The event has evolved into a big street festival celebrating one of the most inspirational charities we’ve had the pleasure to work with.

How did you select the charity this year?

Every year we sit down and brainstorm a list of worthy causes and organizations that we feel have a good connection to our audience.

Once we explored more about Invisible Children we were blown away by what they have accomplished, and more importantly, the fact that the organization was founded by three guys in their early twenties and has inspired hundreds of thousands of teens across the country.

Invisible Children seeks to end the longest running war in Africa, hoping to disband the LRA and remove rebel leader Joseph Kony, who abducts children and forces them to fight as child soldiers. It’s a horrific atrocity that is happening in our time and these kids and their story have been “invisible” until IC helped promote their plea among their peers back in the States.

Creating a documentary film back in 2003, IC grew a cult following of passionate teens and twenty somethings, and after a lot of legislative pressure, marches on Washington and grassroots fundraising, they are seeing their hard work result in concrete action.

The CEO and the founders of Invisible Children were invited to attend a formal ceremony in the Oval Office with President Obama this past Monday to watch as he signed the Invisible Children-promoted bill into law, which requires the current administration to develop a plan to help disarm the LRA within 180 days.

It’s a huge accomplishment and shows what voice young Americans have when they take the time to get involved.

On Page 2: the genesis for the DFH, and how it's grown.

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