The name Havaianas, is Portuguese for Hawaiians, named because of Hawaii’s popular surf culture. The Flip-Flop itself is a New Zealand invention, which in turn was inspired by the rice straw and wood sandals of Japan. Havaianas aren’t just a great brand, they also serve as a quintessential symbol of everyday life in Brazil, so much so that 2 out of every 3 Brazilians (out of a population of 190 Million) buy one pair every year. The fact that they last for so many years, should give an idea of how many pairs each Brazilian owns.
Little do most Americans know that Havaianas don’t cost anywhere near the price they are sold for in the U.S. What someone spends on one pair in the U.S., would be enough to buy 4 to 6 pairs in Brazil. Even though there are no specialty brand-name shops down there, one only needs to walk into any mall or general shop to easily find some.
In 2006, Havaianas were the 4th most remembered brand in all of Latin America. Havaianas are made in São Paulo where five pairs of sandals per second are produced, generating an annual production of 105 million pairs. Since their creation in 1962, more than two billion pairs have been manufactured.