Design of Roman military sandals, seen on a sculpture.
In the West, sandals continued to be popular far into the early modern era. They were frequently worn as a cheap day shoe for travel or practical purposes. Even Shakespeare makes reference of them. “How am I, your real love, to distinguish myself from another? By his cockle head, his staff, and his shoon sandals.
For our purposes today, let’s fast-forward to the middle of the 20th Century. Raphael will explain more about sandals and why they aren’t preferred for classic style in a separate guide.
late 20th century
The custom of wearing zri as house shoes was allegedly established by allied forces stationed in Japan after World War II. Japanese slip-on sandals known as zori developed from the aforementioned waraji. Japanese zri had to be created out of rubber due to wartime restrictions near the end of World War II; after the war, these rubber zri could be produced at a low cost and marketed all over the world.
The name “thong” refers to a leather strap, like the one on these shoes. However, “jandals” was also occasionally used as a mashup of “Japanese sandals.”
In North America, the phrase “flip-flops” first entered general usage in the late 1960s as an onomatopoeic reference to the sound they produce while worn.
The Brazilian business Havaianas began mass producing these zri-like rubber sandals in 1962. Their name, which means “Hawaiians” in Portuguese, derives from the fact that they have distinctive blue and white coloring and that similar style sandals were frequently seen on the beaches of Hawaii, which does have a significant Japanese immigrant population.
Within a few years, Havaianas became one of the most well-liked shoe designs in Brazil, where they were initially linked with the working classes. Alpargatas, the company that owns Havaianas, patented their design in 1966. And in all actuality, the flip-flop as we know it today was born.
For the majority of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s, beachgoers continued to favor more conventional shoe styles like boat shoes, the canvas Keds in a 1962 advertisement, and espadrilles like those worn by Alain Delon in Plein Soleil, a 1999 early adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley that generated a style review.
Flip-flops appeared poolside, were popular among surfers, and even received a fashion nod as the 1960s progressed.mention in the 1964 Beach Boys song All Summer Long.
Flip-flops and other comparable casual shoes’ appeal grew over time. Entrepreneur Jay Longley started producing leather and rubber flip-flops by hand in his Laguna Beach, California, house at a rate of roughly 15 pairs per day in the early 1970s.
He established Rainbow Sandals in San Clemente, California, in 1974. Its production facility, which is still operational today, could turn on about 1,200 lights per day.
Doug Otto and Karl Lopker, two University of California, Santa Barbara students, began selling their own flip-flops around the same time. They called them “Deckers” because the soles’ multiple layers resembled wooden decks.
Late 20th Century
In 1984, Reef Sandals was founded by Argentinian brothers Fernando and Santiago Aguerre after they moved to La Jolla, California. Reef products were originally manufactured in Brazil like Havaianas, and this connection was emphasized in Reef advertising.
20th century late
Fernando and Santiago Aguerre, brothers from Argentina, settled in La Jolla, California, and started Reef Sandals in 1984. Similar to Havaianas, Reef products were first made in Brazil, and this relationship was stressed in Reef advertising. adventures like walking or climbing.
Flip-flop producers made a modest effort to sell their products as totally acceptable day shoes in the early 2000s once the leisure market was saturated. Some of the first people to embrace this fad were kids and teenagers.
When some Northwestern University lacrosse players chose to wear flip-flops to a ceremonial photo with President George W. Bush in 2005, it led to a mini “sandal crisis” throughout the country. But in 2011, only a few years later Barack Obama became the first sitting US President to appear in public wearing flip-flops at an ice cream parlor in Hawaii.
Flip-flops had been a familiar sight on men’s feet for roughly ten years by this point, being worn by regular guys running errands or doing chores as well as by celebrities like JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake of NSYNC, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Liam Hemsworth.
Today, flip-flops are widely accepted as an essential part of menswear. Even some high-end labels have entered the flip-flop market, such as Giorgio Armani ($550), Louis Vuitton ($350), and Gucci ($320). Flip-flops have a long way to travel to get from Brazil’s favelas to the high-fashion runway. Flip-flops do have costs, but those are the only ones.
Many flip-flops are viewed as disposable items because of their carefree and wild attitude. Three billion flops are produced each year, and many of them are immediately discarded, making up up to 25% of the ocean’s pollution in some areas.