From Poverty Symbol to Fashion Icon: The Evolution of Havaianas


Added on  2019-09-26

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MKT 2105/APR 2016MKT2105 CONSUMER BEHAVIOURINDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMENT Instructions:This assignment is an individual assignment, and will contribute 30% to your final grade. Thereare 2 parts to this assignment. Part 1 - Your assignment should be typed in Times New Roman, font 12, double spaced,approximately 1500 words (+/- 10% allowance). You may use tables and charts to illustrate youranswer. Part 2 - Your assignment need to be typed in the table format given in the task.The due date for this assignment is on 01/06/2016 - 15/06/2016 week. Submit your assignmentduring your class. No extension is permitted. Harvard method of referencing should be observedthroughout.The Flip-flop Story of HavaianasBrazil's well-heeled socialites swear by them. Legions of slum-dwellers from the country'shillside 'favelas' don them almost every day. Minimum wage earners behind juice bar countersuse them, as do newly minted millionaires and, alarmingly, construction workers. In Brazil,literally everyone wears Havaianas, the now world-famous brand of rubber and plastic flip-flopsthat's celebrating its 50th birthday this year. Since their 1962 introduction, Havaianas have joinedsoccer and samba as one of the great social equalizers in this country, among the world's moststratified societies. Initially the workaday staples of the Brazilian poor, Havaianas have transcended both theirmodest origins and the country's borders to become an object of desire the world over, sold atBloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus and coveted by Hollywood A-listers, European royals andsuburban princesses from Seattle to Seoul. Marcus and coveted by Hollywood A-listers,European royals and suburban princesses from Seattle to Seoul.Not only have they become all but de rigueur in poolside Miami and beachfront Cancun,Havaianas now have a way of cropping up where you least expect them, from Paris' rarifiedhaute couture catwalks to the red carpet at the Oscars.
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MKT 2105/APR 2016The iconic flip-flops now rival uber-model Gisele Bundchen for the title of Brazil's most famousexport. And though the word 'havaianas' means Hawaiian in Portuguese, the flip-flops have cometo be something of a symbol for Brazil itself.'They're cool, colourful, laid back and chic,' said Brazilian-born fashion consultant AbraaoFerreira. 'They're the quintessence of everything that people find appealing about Brazil.'The numbers speak to that enduring popularity.Last year, 210 million pairs of Havaianas were sold worldwide. Even with 15 percent of totalproduction exported to some 80 countries, enough of the sandals were sold in 2011 for nearlyevery man, woman and child in Brazil.Legend has it that Havaianas' simple wishbone between-the-toe design was inspired by Japanese'zori' sandals, the traditional straw-bottomed footwear worn by geishas. 'It's true that someexecutives from (parent company) Alpargatas took a trip to Japan before the launch,' in 1962,said Rui Porto, a longtime company executive who now works as a media consultant for thebrand.'But the origins of this style of sandal date back to the dawn of time, to roughly the same era asthe invention of the wheel. 'In fact, that's why there's no patent on them,' Porto said. Still, patentor not, Havaianas has kept the formula behind its squishy rubber soles a tightly guarded secret.Since most of its direct competitors make cheaper, plastic-soled flip-flops, Havaianas' aeratedrubber soles are seen as key to the brand's success and their manufacturing process is kept understrict wraps.Beyond acknowledging they're made from a mixture of domestic and imported rubber thatshrinks and hardens with extended wear, Porto declined to provide any details about the secretsoles.In the beginning, Havaianas came in a Spartan palette, their white soles paired with either skyblue, black or yellow straps. Sold in popular street markets, they quickly became such a basic forthe poor here that they were included on the list of basic necessities such as rice and beans thatthe government used to calculate cost-of-living increases. 'Havaianas were almost synonymous with poverty,' said Porto. 'They were sold like acommodity, with no investment in design or marketing or innovation, and the whole businessmodel hinged upon selling increasing numbers of pairs in order to drive production costs down.'By the early 1990s, with domestic competitors beginning to eat away at Havaianas' market share,label executives made a bold, 180-degree shift in strategy. Their plan, aimed at rebrandingHavaianas as a fashion accessory, would prove to be so wildly successful.The label looked to inventive wearers who had long been transforming their bicolour sandals intosingle colour ones by flipping the white-topped sole over. In 1994, Havaianas introduced a newline of one-shade sandals in black, royal blue, pink and purple.
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