Rio de Janeiro
|Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Havaianas sandals, created in 1962, drew inspiration from the “zori”, traditional Japanese flat sandals made of rice straw. Extremely low-cost, for many years they were just humble rubber flip-flops, distant from the fashion icon they are today.
Our greatest challenge was to impart to the architecture the mood the brand inspires: freshness, informality, comfort, calm, well-being, Brazilian-ness.
Differently from the first flagship store in São Paulo, the program in Rio de Janeiro was vertical, distributed along four floors due to the small-sized plot, bringing the major complication of how to attract customers throughout the space. As such, its façade, a black box – different from what is expected from the Havaianas brand – raises curiosity about what lies inside.
The ground floor, the only part open to the exterior, is an extension of the sidewalk, completely open to the street, without doors or window displays, with lush vegetation multiplied by the polished stainless-steel wall covering that works as a mirror and still keeps the mystery of what is above.
As it ultimately works as a square, customers are effortlessly led to the interior, and only upon entering, the store starts revealing itself.
The upper floors, built on slabs of different sizes and contours, along with the translucent materiality of the stairs, allow viewing a colored gradient made up of the core product of the brand itself: the sandals, found on the four walls to the top of the last floor, a white checkered glass pergola, which allows natural lighting to flow throughout the store, highlighting the sandals in display.