Havaianas footwear store opens in Huntington Beach

Special to the Los Angeles Times

Havaianas, the Brazilian maker of fashionable flip-flops, opens its first U.S. store Sunday, June 27, in Huntington Beach.

Located on Pacific Coast Highway across from the Huntington Beach Pier, the 1,250-square-foot Havaianas store includes a permanent customization station, where you can design your own pair of flip-flops by choosing a strap and contrasting foot bed with the option of adding a Swarovski crystal charm before a machine clamps everything into place.

The Havaianas boutique, designed by Criacitta, also based in São Paulo, features fun furniture that matches the theme — a chandelier made from mini sandals and flip-flop-inspired stools. Walls are covered with a colorful array of 150 Havaianas styles, ranging in price from $18 to $26 for women, men, children and babies.


“The attitude of the brand matches the Southern California lifestyle,” says Glen Lagerstrom, executive vice president of Alpargatas USA, which handles sales and distribution for the brand nationwide. Lagerstrom says the brand plans to open retail stores throughout 2011 in key cities such as Los Angeles, Miami and New York.

Havaianas, which means Hawaiians in Portuguese, was founded in 1962 in São Paulo and based its shoe on the “zori,” a Japanese sandal with a rice straw sole. Havaianas foot beds still have a faux textured rice pattern, but in the last decade, the shoe has departed from its humble origins as an everyday sandal in Brazil to become an accessible international luxury item. This led to a partnership with jeweler H Stern to make a flip-flop encrusted with 18-karat gold and diamonds in 2004.

Last year, the brand, which still manufactures all its footwear in Brazil using a secret rubber recipe, opened an outsize concept store in São Paulo called Espaço Havaianas.

The Orange County Havaianas store will carry brand exclusives such as the new Art Nouveau and Art Deco design collections, plus this year’s special collaborations with Conservation International, an environmental nonprofit based in Arlington, Va., and Threadless, an Internet-based do-it-yourself design community.

For Conservation International, Havaianas created three marine-life-inspired foot beds that retail for $24, with 7% of sale proceeds pledged to marine conservation efforts in Brazil. The Threadless collaboration, in-store by July 12, features $25 flip-flops featuring two designs “crowd-sourced” through an online design challenge, plus four popular graphics from the Chicago company’s design community.

The store carries sandals Havaianas created for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the colors of the qualifying national teams, including the U.S. and Brazil. In 1998, Havaianas first created a sandal for the Brazilian national team with a small flag on the strap, though Brazil, a five-title winner, didn’t capture the World Cup that year.

300 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach. (714) 536-0001. 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Sunday.


Monique Lhuillier Sunday, June 27: L.A.-based bridal designer throws a one-day-only sample sale, discounting bridal gowns and ready-to-wear dresses by 40% to 90%. Deals include a $3,000 lace wedding dress (retail price $6,300), $2,000 satin wedding gown ($4,620), evening dresses that start at $300 and cocktail dresses that start at $200. Merchandise will be sold as is; no alterations provided.

1201 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 655-1088. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Bellacures Tuesday through Saturday: The stylish nail salon opens in Santa Monica — other branches are in Beverly Hills and Brentwood — with a weeklong roster of specials. On Tuesday, get a $15 manicure (regular price $20) and complimentary watermelon martinis. On Wednesday, $20 pedicures (reg. $25) come with blueberry scones and Blue Hawaiians. Thursday there will be complimentary five-minute massages plus mimosas. On Friday, bring the kids for $5 kid-i-cures (reg. $9) and lemonade. On Saturday, join the official grand opening party with complimentary Pinkberry yogurt and a chance to win one manicure a month for a year.

1609B Montana Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 584-4584. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.

1969 GapKids Pop-up Shop: In advance of its GapKids1969 jeans launch on Monday, Gap has opened a 1969 Kids pop-up shop next to its 1969 store. The store will carry the GapKids fall collection, including denim trousers, plaid shirts, Junkfood graphic tees and chambray dresses, starting at $19.50, along with back-to-school items such as watches, pencil cases and key chains.

107 S. Robertson Blvd. Los Angeles. (310) 858-8806. 10:30 a.m. though 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11 a.m. through 6 p.m. Sunday.


Oliver Peoples Thursday: L.A. eyewear maker hosts its inaugural Summer Session mixers, starting with KCRW DJ Anne Litt and continuing every Thursday through July 22. Eyewear from Oliver Peoples, Paul Smith Spectacles and Mosley Tribes will be $99 to $119. Complimentary wine.

8642 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood. (310) 657-2553. 6 to 9 p.m.

Elijah Blue “Stuff of Legends” Saturday through Aug. 2: Madison Gallery teams with Kantor Gallery for a satellite exhibition by painter Elijah Blue ( Cher and Gregg Allman’s son). Blue says his show “Stuff of Legends” is commentary on “the contemporary celebrity condition.” Afterward, you can shop Madison’s collections from Balmain, Marni, Missoni, Chloe and Alexander Wang.

23410 Civic Center Way, Malibu. (310) 317-8787. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.