Cars roaring down bustling Melrose Avenue were brought to heel — quite literally — for John Varvatos on Thursday at the designer’s benefit to support the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.
Transgender actress Candis Cayne took to the streets outside his West Hollywood, Calif., boutique and stopped traffic with a sizzling lip-sync and dance routine.
Clad in a pair of nude sandals, the blond bombshell climbed a big rig and then twirled around the hood of a minivan while entertaining guests.
Varvatos partnered with Out magazine for the event and donated a percentage of sales from the night to help support the chorus.
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Celebrity guests included “Modern Family” star Jesse Tyler Ferguson, fellow actors Dan Bucatinsky, Travis Wall and Barrett Foa, and stylist George Kostiopoulos.
Speaking to Footwear News, Varvatos shared that supporting the community is a part of his brand’s “DNA.”
“When you have the opportunity to give back — not everybody does — you should use your opportunity to do it,” he said. “We like to do things we are passionate about. When you are passionate about something, it’s easy.”
In April, Varvatos’ boutique also served as the venue for his annual Stuart House benefit, which raised $800,000 for the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center.
His other passion — music — provided the inspiration for his collaboration with Converse that dropped in August. The Converse x John Varvatos Chuck Taylor All Star II Coated Leather honored his hometown of Detroit and the city’s music history.
Featuring a slick, crackled finish, the high-top sneakers are offered in a black and a white coated-leather upper. The shoes are available in Converse stores and online, retailing for $150.
One month ahead of the release, Varvatos was in the thick of creative stimulation at a Guns N’ Roses concert at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey — his favorite show of the summer.
“It was pretty amazing,” he recalled. “It was one of those shows that I didn’t know how it would be. I went with friends and some of my co-workers.”