50 is the new chic: Havaianas turns gold-A A +A
By Betsy Gazo
Saturday, July 14, 2012
THE popular and iconic flip-flop brand Havaianas celebrated its 50th birthday in Bacolod City by hosting a party like no other. At the invitation-only bash at the SM City Bacolod Event Center last July 12, Thursday, the guests were beguiled by the array of colors, styles, and combinations of the lifestyle brand that has spread around the world from its home country, Brazil.
For comfort, fun and style, nothing beats Havaianas. Each pair of tsinelas is made from a secret 100% rubber formula that gives them the ability to retain their original shape. Despite a higher than usual price tag, billions of flip-flops are sold around the world. The quality of the products is unbeatable. Check out the “Hecho en Brasil” sign under the straps. Go for the original.
Around the world, the golden anniversary takes place with the Make Your Own Havaianas 2012 grand celebration, and the one at SM City Bacolod was spared no effort.
The event center was converted into a lounge which exuded a cool, hip, classy vibe. Standees displaying soles and straps were installed. The standees were assigned a sole category, and the soles were overlapped with a wheel on which various straps can be matched to the sole with just a turn of the wheel. There are so many colors and combinations that could put the rainbow to shame, with pins for you to embellish your flip-flops with.
The crowd just went crazy over the thought of owning a unique pair and some guests lined up at the counter with not just one, but even half a dozen pairs to add to their wardrobe. “Daw ma-buang ‘ko, ah!” exclaimed one Havaianas female fan. She was forgiven her mental state, because there were just so many possibilities, and this is Havaianas.
The stylish crowd milled around the area, partook of cocktails and finger food (superb chorizo empanaditas) catered by Sugarland Hotel. They were also entertained by a live band singing upbeat Brazilian songs, a futsal demonstration by USLS players, the electrifying Masskara dancers, and a well-applauded Zumba presentation by Irene Caram-Gonzaga, Mycel Yusay, Priscilla Pineda, Abby Pineda, and Agot Pineda. The show was hosted by the perky Ceska Litton.
Havaianas owners Antoinette and Jet Lacson were a happy and excited couple over the success of the celebration. Antoinette used to work for Havaianas in Manila and her love for the brand just grew and grew that she ventured into the business herself.
The Philippines saw its first Havaianas store in 2003 (one million pairs sold in the first three years), while Bacolod’s first was in 2006. “The market was ready,” Jet said. “In the last 6 years, Bacolod saw a boom in business in general.”
The Lacson couple also distributes Havaianas to the provinces of Iloilo and Antique. In Bacolod, Havaianas stores can be found not only in SM City, but also in Robinsons Place and Balay Quince. In Iloilo, SM City, and Robinsons Place have stores while Antique has Kymac, a consignee store. “Every two months we launch a new design, but it is in December that a new collection is unveiled,” Antoinette adds. “The price range for our flip-flops is from P695 to P1995 which includes accessories.”
A long line of counter and cubbyholes stocked with soles, straps and accessories graced the whole length of the event center’s partition. The counters were manned by well-trained, courteous, and personable assemblers, who helped customers create the Havaianas of their dreams.
I got myself a pumpkin-soled, golden-strapped Slim Havaianas with a macaw pin. The pins come in “1962,” futsal, diamond, butterfly, lopsided heart, “happiness,” and aviator shades designs. Just visit, because there are so much more.
Did you know that “Havaianas” is the Portuguese word for “Hawaiians”? The concept was drawn from the mix of the breezy culture of Hawaii, and the serene design of Japan. They threw in sunshine and what came out is now the long-standing icon of summer.
Today, Havaianas is a respected style statement the world over that one can wear not only on the beach, but even in the urban jungles.
From July 13-15, the Event Center will continue to house MYOH so locals will still have the chance to create the styles that we want. What’s Antoinette’s advice to all Havaianaticos? “To keep loving Havaianas and visit our stores.”
Get inspired by the brand’s heritage and vintage fashion, and tell the story of how you created a pair that represents your taste.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 14, 2012.