In 1962, the first pair of the iconic Havaianas (a Portuguese word meaning Hawaiian) flip flops were produced in Brazil. The brand was inspired by Japanese zori sandals, whose soles are made using rice straw. Havaianas uses rubber soles with a rice grain pattern, a characteristic that makes its flip flops unique.
Scotsman Robert Fraser created the first flip-flop with a rubber sole. The shoe captured the hearts of Brazilians and they were quickly worn by all members of the country’s working-class because of the simple style and low price of the flip flops.
In the 1980s, the Brazilian Ministry of Finance declared that flip-flops were a «necessity for Brazilians». In the 90s, the brand reached important milestones, especially in 1994 with the launch of a new line of eight unicolour flip flops called Havaianas Top. Next, printed flip flops were added to the brand’s collection including seven new colours. At this time, people from the upper classes of society also began to wear flip flops. Today, consumers can choose from a selection of fifteen colours.
In 1996, the patent for the Havaianas rubber sandals was filed by the Brazilian manufacturing company Alpargatas. The Havaianas concept consists of a flip-flop with a rubber sole to which a strap and two braided parallel strands are attached. From then on, the flip-flops could be manufactured on a larger scale.
Today, Havaianas are one of the most popular shoes in the world. Every year, the brand produces 150 million pairs of shoes. The brand sells its shoes to more than 620 stores in at least 100 countries around the world. Havaianas also has a clothing collection made in Portugal. As for the flip flops, they are made in Brazil.
In terms of collaborations, 2021 has been an important year for Havaianas. They created a collection with streetwear brand A Bathing Ape. Additionally, the label entered the world of video games thanks to Fortnite, where an island called Havaianas x Fortnite was created to promote the eponymous collaborative collection.