By Michela DellaMonica, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL — Founded in 1962, Brazil’s global flip-flop company Havaianas, owned by manufacturer Alpargatas, began as the signature everyday footwear for Brazilians, ideal comfort in the tropical climate. The company has gained international popularity with pop-up events throughout the U.S., and have attracted new markets with their fun “create-your-own style” flip-flops.

Havaianas Carioca culture, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Havaianas are part of Carioca culture, and continues to expand their designs and custom options, photo by Kai Hendry/Flickr Creative Commons License.

A new line that is part of the collection is the slim fit, a slimmer sole with thinner straps made for smaller, skinnier feet. The classic Havaiana flip-flop comes in white or dark green with the Brazilian flag on the strap. A non-traditional Havaiana is the new light closed-toe sandal with the flip-flop sole which comes in various colors.

The “create-your-own” feature is what sets this company a part from the rest giving its customers the freedom to choose from a variety of vibrant colors and charms for the straps. Available online or in official Havaiana stores, this popular feature is a great personalized gift idea.

Another feature is the bridal collection which allows you to customize your flip-flops with the bride and groom’s initials and special order them for the wedding party.

Havaianas is taking full advantage of its native country Brazil hosting this year’s World Cup in designing new styles. The flip-flops will see the flags of fifteen countries including Brazil, France, Holland, Spain and Portugal on the straps. Each pair looks like a brightly-colored team jersey in flip-flop form, a must-have accessory during the games.

“I have my pair of England flip-flops I purchased in a supermarket check-out line, believe it or not, for a really great price (R$23), and of course I bought Brazil ones since I’ll be here in Rio to enjoy the games,” says Cina Ongoro, a tourist from England who spoke to The Rio Times.

Havaianas in Rio, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Havaianas are a must-have part of the Carioca wardrobe, photo by Len Urrutia/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Given that the Carioca lifestyle in Rio is more relaxed compared to Paulistas in the big city of São Paulo, Havaianas are a must-have part of the wardrobe in Rio. From surfers and those who frequent the beach daily to everyday else, Havaianas are a simple shoe to slip on.

Model and owner of Oficina de Negocinhos, Ana Caroline Biavatti, a Brazilian living in Rio who also spent years in Rome, tells The Rio Times. “Since I moved to Rio, I don’t worry anymore about shoes, I just worry about having enough models of Havaianas… one for the beach, another for the bank, and another for [going to a] party.”

Also, since collaborating with Disney, there are even more fun options for young children to choose from. Girls and boys can choose their favorite Disney character on their flip-flops and strap them on for extra security.

The label has recently unveiled a spring/summer 2015 clothing line during São Paulo Fashion Week in April titled Por Inteir, which translates to ‘By Length’ in English, for both men and women. Ideal to be worn for a leisurely stroll on the beach or around town, the 500-piece collection is made from cotton, linen and viscose materials.

Created with Havaianas’ signature vibrant prints and bright colors including pants, dresses, skirts, blouses, shorts and some soft lycra made swimwear ensembles and hats. The collection also features T-shirts printed with fun Brazilian slogans like “cada macaco no seu galho” (to each his own) and “devagar se vai longe” (the slower the farther you go).


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