Text Angelica Carrara
It is a cadenced rhythm that gives the English name to flip-flops. Such a shuffling has always existed; we can even find it in Egyptian hieroglyphs. The zori are Japanese sandals with rice straw sole – the legends say that breaking the strips brings bad luck. In 1962, in Brazil, the Havanaias came to life by blending this ancient Japanese tradition with the nature and life of the Hawaii American Islands – flip-flops made of natural rubber. In 1966, Alpargatas, the mother company of Havaianas, registers the patent of the model, ‘a new type of sole with strips’. Like rice and beans, in 1980, the Havaianas were integrated by the government in the basket for monitoring inflation.
Havaianas, Hawaii – away. This assonance represents their nature. Going around, going away. Wearing sandals that are the symbol of days spent under the sun, not only by the seaside but also in the city. The Havaianas City Sandals collection – a model of sandal with an ankle strip, has been conceived with the energy of the Cariocan country, to travel around the whole world. We have brought this energy to Italy – our Country has no boundaries, where we love to keep our arms and head open, amidst sea and Europe.
The five floorings
To mark the stages of an Italian-style summer – when kids and families come from all over the world to visit the cradle of culture. We have looked for the most peculiar, most coloured floorings.
The Palace of Theodoric in Ravenna, was a guard house during the government of the Bizantine exharcate, today through a spiral staircase in the round tower it is possible to access to the upper room, with marble tarsia dating from the 1st to the 7th Century.
Villa Romana del Casale in Enna, a rural dwelling that belonged to a strong Roman family. Three thousand and five hundred squared metres of floorings over which the lifestyle of the house owner is celebrated. Narrative styles and cycles, one is dedicated to mythology and Homer’s poems, the other one has references to nature.
Casa Dei Grifi on the Palatine hill in Rome, from the Republican age, whose name derives from the plaster decoration of a lunette with griffons. This type of decoration was called opus scutulatum, the most ancient one found in Rome, whose original model was the temple of Jupiter Capitulinus.
Villa Jovis in Capri, on a crag almost lying on the Grotta Azzurra. Far from the noises of the port and fashion streets. From here, the Emperor Tiberius governed the Roman empire for eleven years.
Then, we added a stop in Spain as well, since we like to get things complicated: in Carranque, in Spain, along the river Guadarrama, there are the rests of a Roman villa which is now protected by the Government of Castilla-la Mancha. The geometry of a mosaic floor, the small marble tesserae which merge into a game of slots, in fact the art of mosaic is conceived for a dance in flip-flops.
Not only in Italy – but in this project to tell and celebrate the Havaianas and all the summer habits which the Havaianas remind us of, we have asked artists from all over the world to design them, to dedicate one of their works to this culture of feet in the air, free and protected only by a sole which does not stop among our toes. The art instagrammers are curios globetrotters, floating in the digital space while they design a coloured present. We are presenting the designs in this gallery, after having found them published on their Instagram profile.