While a growing number of retailers and brands are shuttering doors in the face of sluggish consumer spending and a rapid shift toward online shopping, Havaianas is banking on a buzzy new flagship.
This week, the flip-flop brand, a division of Brazil-based Alpargatas S.A., opened a retail location in the high-profile Westfield World Trade Center mall in Lower Manhattan.
According to the brand, the new store is one of its largest in the tri-state area. (Havaianas also has branded doors in Times Square, the West Village and Westfield’s Garden State Plaza in New Jersey). It stocks numerous styles from the brand’s footwear collection, as well as eyewear and accessories.
The space was designed by the Gensler architecture firm and embodies the label’s character and heritage.
“Key design elements, such as the abstracted palm tree and wood fixtures — as well as the colorful patterns on the sandals themselves — bring the exuberance of the brand’s Brazilian heritage to life,” said Kathleen Jordan, a principal at Gensler.
(One cool feature: The “leaves” on the palm tree in the middle of the store are made out of flip-flop straps.)
Check out these exclusive first images of the store:
In an interview with FN last fall, Havaianas’ U.S. president, Marcio Moura, explained why the flip-flop brand remains focused on retail expansion. “We have more than 400 styles that we launch every year, so for customers to have a full experience, they need to go to a Havaianas store and be able to see all the collections and touch the product,” he said.
Indeed, Havaianas’ product selection is quite extensive, with new collections and collaborations debuting regularly. Just this season, it has debuted a capsule collection with Marvel and a collab with We Are Handsome, an Australian swim label. And in London recently, a number of high-end designers reinterpreted the brand’s classic rubber thongs to support the charity Women for Women.