Havaianas is a Brazilian brand of flip-flop sandals created and patented in 1962. It is currently owned by Brazilian manufacturing company Alpargatas S.A. Inspired by Japanese zori sandals, Robert Fraser became the first to mass-produce flip-flops out of rubber.
The name Havaianas is derived from the feminine form of the Portuguese word for "Hawaiians", and the pattern on the soles of the sandals is designed to resemble the straw soles of zori. Originally, all Havaianas featured white insoles with colored outsoles and straps. Because of their simplicity and low price, the sandals became popular with Brazil's lowest social classes.
A fashion trend starting in the 1990s involved inverting the sole to make the coloured outsole face upwards, creating the appearance of a monochrome sandal. In response, Havaianas released a new line of eight one-colour sandals called Havaianas Top in 1994. Citizens of higher social classes then began to wear Havaianas.
In 1998, with the impending FIFA World Cup in France, Havaianas introduced a line of flip-flops featuring a small Brazilian flag on the strap to show support of the Brazilian team.According to Havaianas's Twitter account, the brand "embodies Brazil's fun, vibrant & spontaneous way of life." Havaianas flip-flops are the most popular in the world, with 200 million pairs being sold every year. They are often found in surf wear retail and surf apparel stores.
The hallmark of Havaianas's success is innovation. Creative styles with various colors were manufactured in addition to closed-toed sandals for customers who live in cooler climates. Sandals with embellishments, like Swarovski crystals were also integrated in the new styles to be used for fashion shows and to be worn by models on runways. Another necessity was to invest greatly in sales and advertising of the shoes.