Friday, September 22, 2023
HomeFashionIt’s High Time the Divisive Havaiana Flip-Flop Made a Comeback

It’s High Time the Divisive Havaiana Flip-Flop Made a Comeback

A Havaiana comeback is the logical endpoint of all the football scarves and vintage jerseys that have been popularized under the “blokecore” search tag on social media, where people film themselves drinking lager while wearing straight-legged jeans, their white socks poking out of Adidas Sambas. These are the people who seem like they are into football, but are more into clothes. And while the UK might be credited with inventing the “beautiful game”, it was Brazil – with its 16,000 professional players – that made the sport a worldwide phenomenon. Pele, Ronaldinho, Neymar, Thiago Silva… there is a reason the country is referred to as the país do futebol, and a reason why fashion observers are casting themselves as patriotic terrace babes at the 2002 England vs Brazil World Cup game.

It would be all too easy to connect the allure of the Havaiana to fashion’s ongoing obsession with unusual footwear. But I would argue that the so-called “ugly shoe” has been mainstreamed to such an extent that most of them no longer register as unattractive: Naomi Campbell wears balloon heels and Victoria Beckham wears Croots and Pamela Anderson wears whatever these are meant to be. Most of these are aestheticized, cartoon versions of ugliness that seem to have been designed with the specific intention of traveling long distances on the feed. None of them would inspire as much horror as a pair of Skechers or Geox or some toe-baring flip-flops, for example.

Of course, the Havaiana doesn’t care how it might be perceived. It sits outside of fashion and has that same unshakeable self-confidence I imagine a lifeguard might possess. Plus, it is too busy applying Piz Buin factor five to its rampart-like shoulders to think for even a split-second about anything.

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