As Olympic athletes change out of their athletic sneakers, chances are they are putting on a pair of Havaianas. They are the must-have sandal of Brazil, and the world for that matter.
"Brazilians don't say they are wearing flip-flops — they say they are wearing Havaianas," said Inhwa Lee, Havaianas' director of marketing for North America.
The brand, established in Brazil in 1962, has grown into a global footwear powerhouse even despite a recession plaguing its native country. "We sell about 220 million pairs per year," said Lee. "That means we produce about eight pairs per second in our factories."