Havaianas, I don’t think there are many people unknown with this brand, especially travelers as they are the best! But maybe the history is less known, which is a shame as it’s a story worth sharing. So let us tell you the story, as it inspires us and it made us love our flip-flops even more.
In 1962, while the world was busy with more ‘serious’ matters, the least serious shoe out there was born in Brazil: Havaianas, the original, 100% rubber flip-flop. Modelled on the Japanese Zori slipper, Havaianas insoles still have a textured rice pattern today. A revolution began on Brazilian feet which would later change the way the whole world walked…
The first Havaianas flip-flop
The new sandals were patented as “a new shoe model in the shape of a slingshot” and named Havaianas in honour of the Hawaiian pleasure-centred approach to life: a brand name that conveys the brand’s essence.
Like many of humanity’s great inventions, Havaianas evolved…by accident! A whole batch of flip-flops intended to be the brand’s traditional blue & white, came out green due to a technical mishap. A potential disaster ended up launching a new era. The new colour was such a success that the company began making the same flip-flop with different coloured straps in yellow, green, red and black. From then on, colour became key for Havaianas customers.Ten years later, with just four colours and one model available, Havaianas were more popular than ever among modest-income Brazilians. The famous flip-flop was so well-rooted in Brazilian society that the government declared it a basic necessity and began monitoring their cost along with other products like rice in order to control inflation. Brazilians can do without certain things, but not their Havaianas!
In 1998, the brand supported Brazil in the World Cup by launching a new line of flip-flops with a small Brazilian flag on the strap. Huge hopes weren’t enough to bring Brazil a first place victory, but the huge success of the new shoe led to the Havaianas Brasil collection, one of the most popular today.
Today, Havaianas are the must-have shoe of both the fashion world, where international celebrities are snapped wearing the flip-flops, and in humble areas – Brazil’s favelas, for example – where adults and children alike continue the Havaianas tradition begun in 1962.A product that represents Brazilian values this well can only be made in Brazil! Every year, the same site in Campina Grande in north-east Brazil manufactures over 206 million pairs of Havaianas, making it the biggest flip-flop factory in the world.