Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Travel with Self-Styled Pair of Havaianas

This year, the Make Your Own Havaianas (MYOH) event is touted to be the best and biggest ever in its six-year history in the Philippines. For a first-time attendee like me, it was a heady, colorful and fun event. The event takes place from May 12 to 16 at the Rockwell Tent, beside the Power Plant Mall at the Rockwell Center in Makati City, but there was a special edition for the media and special guests on May 10.

As if Havaianas, which made the lowly tsinelas a popular and chic thing to wear to almost everywhere, didn't already have a wide and exciting array of designs to choose from, the annual MYOH event enables consumers to customize their own pairs of rubber geta-inspired footwear of the Brazilian flip-flop brand by mixing and matching straps and soles, and decorating a pair with pins.

Being a Havaianas wearer, it was exciting and fun to create a pair to reflect your personality, style and preferences, even if it is limited to choosing the color of the soles and straps and the pins.

One is given a “passport” in which you indicate your size and can tick the colors and styles you want. Then the passport is given to any of the assemblers to make according to your specifications. The May 10 event was like a party with a jazz band performing and guests busy creating their own pairs. A moveable display of available soles and straps enabled guests to see what matches they had in mind. Chef Margarita Fores served food inspired by this year’s theme such as Scotch quail eggs and aioli from the United Kingdom; bouche ala Reine, mushroom tris and water spinach passato from Paris; ebi try, tartare sauce and cabbage sarada from Japan; open-faced Reuben sandwich, pastrami and cheese from New York; flank steak churascu from Brazil; Shepherd’s pie from Australia; and adobo rice and flakes from the Philippines.

This years theme of travel and personalized stylevery apt as a pair of Havaianas is a favorite among travel buffsare emphasized by the offering of new and limited-edition travel-inspired soles, sporting passport stamps design. The pins also speaks of travelKangaroo crossing sign, Eiffel Tower, apple-shaped I Love NY, London guard, Chinese stamp with double happiness in Chinese characters, Rio de Janeiro beach scene, Harajuku doll, Roman coliseum and Manila bag tag. There are also the yin and yang symbol, I love PH, robot, cassette tape, race flags, anchor, kalesa and limited edition pins. By the way, for a pair purchased with a Harajuku doll pin P100 will be donated to the earthquake survivors of Japan through the Philippine Red Cross. For the girls, charms are also available.

After a pair is finished, the customer can pay for it in the cashier area that imitates airport’s immigration lane.

With the MYOH event, Havaianas presents its current crop of ambassadors, who are called Citizens of Summer—“fun, stylish people who truly live out the summer spirit of Havaianas wherever they go” and “people live in a summer state of mind and inspire others to join them in doing so.”

The individuals “who make summer their own all year round” and will promote the spirit of summer are TV personality Alvey Alfonso; entrepreneur, model and host Amanda Griffin-Jacob; writer and business owner Cecile Van Straten; fashion designer and wannabe farmer Hindy Weber-Tantoco; professional surfer and surf school owner Luke Landrigan; chef Margarita ForĂ©s; capoeira teacher Professor Fantasma; fashion designer Rosanna Ocampo; fashion designer and travel buff Sassa Jimenez; marketing manager of Philux Furniture Stephanie Kienle; and food columnist and travel enthusiast Stephanie Zubiri.

Summer is hanging at the beach and teaching people the joys of surfing, says Landrigan.

On the other hand, Zubiri says, Summer is lifting the weight off your shoulders, letting go of all shackles, and surrendering yourself to life.

Summer is a time to experiment with your personal style and even explore places that youve never been to before. Summer to me is basically about freedom, self-discovery and, of course, fun! Jimenez exclaims.

The Havaianas Citizens of Summer embodies the spirit and thoughts that the brand wants to impart such as the delights of going someplace new and imbibing different cultures and experiences; that traveling provides inspiration to hone their personal passions as well as fashion styles; and comfort and personal style are two essentials that any jetsetter should have for every travel.

Make Your Own Havaianas, presented by Power Plant Mall, happens from May 12 to 16, beginning 10 a.m., at the Rockwell Tent, Makati City. Visit www.makeyourownhavaianas.com.ph for more details.

The pair I made was actually for mah babe, Bob Jerezo, who left his flip-flops when he went home to Iloilo. This actually is partly inspired by my passion and him, reflecting myself and him. It is determinedly travel-inspired, bespeaking the desire of more travels and discoveries and learnings, either each his own or together. The pins I chose are the I love PH (well, of course), the anchor (because he is a would-be seafarer), yin and yang (for harmony) and Chinese double happiness (of course).