The beach and football have long been intertwined and ingrained in the Brazilian psyche. Think of a land of sun, sea and football and it is kick-abouts on Rio de Janeiro’s beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema that are sure to spring to mind.
It is the beach and football that have given the world two of Brazil’s most famous exports: the Havaianas flip-flop and the Brazilian national team. Having first launched in 1962, Havaianas today sells around 200 million pairs a year to make it the world’s favourite brand of flip-flops. The Brazilian national team, meanwhile, has racked up a total of five World Cup wins in its history – a feat unmatched by any other nation – winning the hearts and minds of football lovers across the globe in the process.
Two very different brands, but brands that have gone on very similar journeys.
The pair’s paths eventually crossed for the 1998 World Cup, when Havaianas opted to show its support for the national team by featuring a small Brazilian flag on the strap of its new line of flip-flops, christening the range the ‘Brasil’. Though Brazil’s World Cup campaign ultimately ended in heartbreak, losing in the final to hosts France, team Havaianas proved to be the big winners of the tournament. The ‘Brasil’ went on to become an object of desire around the globe, much like its football team. A campaign had succeeded and an icon was born.
Fast-forward 20 years, and the ‘Brasil’ has gone on to become Havaianas’ flagship product and biggest seller, so influential that that familiar Brazilian flag logo can today be seen on countless fake flip-flop replicas on beaches around the world.
Fast-forward 20 years, and another World Cup is also on the horizon, one which, as ever, is set to capture the Brazilian public’s imaginations as they harbour hopes of a record sixth title for their team. Keen to get into the party spirit once again, Havaianas is marking this summer’s tournament in Russia by celebrating the 20th anniversary of the ‘Brasil’ with the launch of the Havaianas Brasil Layers collection, new and updated versions of the renowned classic.
The ‘Brasil’ project has come full circle. Now, all that is left is for a Brazil triumph in Russia this summer, and the 20th anniversary celebrations will be complete.