Being Brazilian cool: the Havaianas style

Not many Brazilian brands have succeeded internationally. We are still learning how to market our style and values internationally. In this context (and as an Eastern token for our readers) Havaianas stand as an interesting case.

An everyday shoe turned into fashion

When I was a child we wore it at home, or to go to the beach. Never, in any circumstances, one would ware a Havaianas for something else. A name that refers to Hawai and had a popular origin it became synonym of Brazilian cool style.

A popular origin:

Havaianas was created in the early 1960 ths. It was inspired by the Zori, typical Japanese sandals made of fabric straps and rice straw soles. It is for this reason that the foot-bed of all Havaianas have a textured rice pattern, one of its many unmistakable features.

What message does it deliver today? Check this video:

(And by the way, price did rise as well.. now you can find fancy pairs for 100 euros!)

I wish you all Happy and Insightful Eastern! (I will be in Ireland.. )

Thanks to Edson Soares for sharing this video.

PS. We want to know what do you think about our blog.. click here for a 3 seconds poll.

Published by Hildete Vodopives

Hildete de Moraes Vodopives is founder of Brazil Global and of the Harvard Strategists Group. She has a PhD in Economic History and advises companies and investment agencies in international business development.She served as Corporate Relations Director and later, on the board of the Brazilian Investment Analysts Association (APIMEC).

5 thoughts on “Being Brazilian cool: the Havaianas style

  1. Oi Hilde
    Eh pra gente que so usava Havaianas pra lavar quintal e ir pra praia eh engracado ver o povo aqui indo pro escritorio de havaianas…e nao sao daquelas chiques nao!!! Sao as mais comums mesmo. A esta epoca aqui custam £20!!!! Mas o mais engracado eh fazer os ingleses deixarem de pronunciar “avianas” hahaha El;es nao conseguem falar direito hahaha.
    Beijao e Boa pascoa irlandesa.


  2. Sorry Ive got no idea that my coments would be shown here lol lol. So here is the translation:
    It’s really funny for us Brazilian, who would just wear Havaianas to to go the beach or clean our homes, see people in London going to work with them. And I’m not talking about the more stilish one, no!!! They wear the most simple and common ones. And the price at this time goes arond £20!!!! REally expensive comparing to Brazilian patterns. But the most difficult to English people is the way that they say the flip flop’s name : “avianas” It’s really difficult for them to say it properly.
    Have a lovely Irish Easter xxxx


  3. I remember in 2002 I bought original Havainas in Sao Paulo for 3 R$. The most basic version of the sandal has not really changed but the price has changed so much just because of marketing strategies.
    Great example of successful Brazilian company going abroad!


  4. Hilde, the “case” Hawaiian is, without doubt, one of the great examples of Brazilian creativity in marketing. Actually, in this 50 years old, I’d highlight two events that propelled the brand capitalization abroad. First, when Havaianas reached the French market in 2001, it was presented on the catwalk at the feet of models, none other than Jean Paul Gaultier. Later, in 2003, two months before the Oscars, Havaianas’ PR contacted the staff of 61 celebrities nominees, including Jack Nicholson, Renée Zellweger and Nicole Kidman. What for? Well, to find out what was the shoe size of each one of them. Soon after the awards, all received their Hawaiian, a special model decorated with Swarovski Austrian crystals and a custom box-style walk of fame in Hollywood. No wonder today 22 million pairs of Havaianas are exported to 80 countries.


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