The Havaianas Store – A Must Do On My Daughter’s Rio List

By Lakshmi:

On our trip to Rio, Sathya had one must do – go to the Havaianas store in Copacabana and get a pair.  For the uninitiated, Havaianas are the fun, colorful, funky rubber sandals that originated in Brazil in 1962.  These flip flops come in such an array of designs and colors that wearing one not only elevates you to a different fashion stature, they are also a fun form of self-expression.

Even before our trip, Sathya kept showing me all the possible designs that she could buy.  Every two days it was another pair that she loved on the web.  The other frequently asked question was how many pairs she would be allowed to buy.  Needless to say, this brand of footwear had made an impact on her mind and heart.

You can guess what comes next.  The nagging commenced the minute we landed in Rio.  When would we get to THE store?  So, one hot morning, we decided to take a long walk from Leblon to the Havaianas store in Copacabana.  I have not seen someone more elated at the sight of a store selling an assortment of flip-flops.  We spent several hours at the store.  At this point, all of us wanted a pair and also a couple of pairs to take back as gifts.  For those wondering whether we could have purchased these back in the States, the answer is yes we could have.  But somehow a visit to Rio has become synonymous with the purchase of this brand.

For a design enthusiast like me, the store certainly provided ample inspiration with colors and designs.  After a lot of painful tradeoffs, we got some amazing pairs of sandals and Sathya refused to let go of her bag.  The sandals were commissioned immediately, but were so precious that they were wiped clean after beach visits.

This lovely shopping story does have a sad ending.  A few months after our return home, both Siddhi’s and Sathya’s sandals broke.  Sathya was very sad.  She tried to fix it, glue it, tape it, but nothing worked.  She asked me if we could write to the store and get it replaced and given that it was a few months, I did not bother.

But those much desired Havaianas are still very much on her mind and one of these days I am going to buckle down and get us all pairs here in the US.

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