Please click the link to buy your own Havaianas on AMAZON Havaianas Unisex Adults Brasil Mix Flip Flops,Green/Navy Blue, 9/10 UK (43/44 Brazilian) (45/46 EU)
Chances are that many of you will have recently visited a beach. Some will have scolded their soles on too hot sand, whilst others will have chosen today’s iconic footwear – Havaianas Flip Flops.
If you come from the UK you may well call these very practical and comfortable “rubber” shoes “flip-flops” – said to resemble the onomatopoeic sound made when contact with you foot is lost and then regained with a smack after impacting with the pavement. Australians call them “thongs” – something altogether more interesting in Europe – in South Africa, I believe, they are “slops”, “tsinelas” in the Philippines and “chanclas” in Spanish.
Whilst the modern shoes origins can be traced to ancient Egypt, around 4,000 BC, their more recent popularity seems to stem from returning GIs bringing back to the US Japanese zōri sandals post the Second World and Korean Wars. Capitalising on their popularity in 1962, Scotsman Robert Fraser creating the Havaianas brand in Brazil – said to derive from the Portuguese word for Hawaiians. His business became the first to mass-produce this rubber footwear. The brand is now own by Brazilian business, Alpargatas and it has been reported that by 2010, more than 150 million pairs of Havaianas were produced annually.
Celebrity clients include Black Obama and the Dalai Lama.
Confusingly – and you’ll only make this mistake the once – there are three sizes that appear on the up-facing sole of the Havaianas flip flop. In the bottom centre is the Brazilian sizing above this to the right is the European sizing and to its left is the US sizing.
And …. if you are desperate for a new pair when the shops are closed – and you happen to be in Sydney (Australia) – please feel free to obtain your “thongs” from the vending machine…..
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Images courtesy of Havaianas