We can find them on the shelves of the most important department stores of the world, like the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, Saks in New York and Harrods in London. They are worn by socialites, famous artists, politicians and at the same time by peasants and poor people living in Brazilian favelas. Without a doubt, they are the most democratic sandals in the world. I am talking about HAVAIANAS, an authentic Brazilian product that once was considered sandals for the poor and now are at the feet of everyone, over 60 countries.
Its inspiration is a traditional Japanese thong called Zori that is made with rice straw. This explains why Havainas sole imitates the texture of rice grains. The name Havaianas from Hawaii, because when the brand was created in 1962, famous people used to spend their vacations there.
Havaianas at the beginning were not as colourful as we see today. They were all white with only the sides in different colours. ...view middle of the document...
During the 90’s Havaianas history changed. The brand started to target new costumers. They launched HAVAIANAS TOP, that were higher, in different colours and had its name on the strips. This new product was more expensive. They rapidly conquered the Brazilian middle class, because artists and celebrities started to appear on the advertising campaigns, saying “ Havaianas, everyone wears it”. In 1998, the model with the Brazilian flag was launched. This was due to the France World Cup. Brazil lost the cup but the model conquered the Brazilian feet.
In 2000, Havaianas became an international success. Foreigners used to visit Brazil and take some pairs home. So they started to appear fashion magazines and newspapers world-wide, as well as on some international shop windows. Some very exclusive models appeared, as one made with 18 karat gold that was sold by 10 thousand dollars in New York.
After that, Havaianas were no longer poor people sandals. It conquered the world and the Brazilians from all social classes. The brand started soon to produce different products like handbags, sandals with drawings on the sole and rain boots for the winter.
Havaianas can now be found in 63 countries. Its international evolution is thanks to the French fashion market. In 2003, Jean-Paul Gaultier inserted the sandals on his summer collection and soon Havaianas were at the Galeries Lafayette, Prientemps and Bon Marché. That’s how Havaianas entered the European market. Also in 2003, Havaianas were distributed to the Oscar winners, so it became popular in the USA.
France, USA, Australia and Spain are the main markets to Havaianas. The company has already opened its own stores over these countries and wants to go further. Last year’s turnover was about 500 million dollars and 186, 9 million pairs were sold all over the world.
Regarding the evolution of Havaianas, it’s possible to see the evolution of Brazil. What was at first a country in a difficult economic situation with a huge difference between rich and poor, is now one of the biggest economies in the world, where people is now prospering as never before.
Havaianas is a symbol of the Brazilian way of life.