Thursday, May 2, 2013

Make Your Own Havaianas 2013

Ah, it's that time of the year again. The time when Havaianaticos from far and wide to the Rockwell Tent in Makati to line up, feverish with creative color combinations on the brain, excited at the prospect of owning a new pair of custom flip flops once more. Who's stoked for Make Your Own Havaianas 2013? I am!

Living in flip flop country, the slippers you wear on your feet seem to be regarded as a status symbol as well as a personality tell - wearing Islanders give the impression that you're a practical, no nonsense type of guy, Jelly Beans are for the cutie patooties, Ipanemas are for the hipsters who want keep with the trend without being too mainstream, Crocs are, well... fugly, and then there's Havaianas.

Truth be told, I have never been to an MYOH event ever. Ever. I just can't stand the idea of waiting in line for half a day for a pair of flip flops - it boggles the mind. I was lucky to be one of the selected 500 Havaianaticos to be invited to an exclusive preview before they opened their doors to the general public, which to me sounded like I wouldn't have to wait in line for hours before I got my custom pair! So yey! I got a couple of extra invites to the event, and asked Jericho to join me.

See how there was no line anywhere? It's probably a different story today. Jericho wasn't interested in getting himself a pair at first and offered to just take pictures, but then he got sucked into the Havi frenzy and happily left with the commemorative pair at the end of the event. Haha! Peer pressure.

We joined the You + Havaianas Design Contest, where we drew our own design that could maybe be made into a commemorative pair next year. I had to make the most of my non-existent talent for drawing. You get a limited edition pin for joining. I was curious to what the limited edition design would be. I found out later that it was quite literal: a pin that read 'Limited Edition'.

Before entering Rockwell Tent, you can mix and match different designs and colors on the 'slipper-of-fortune' wheels so you can experiment with the colors and see how they'd look. I already had a design in mind before going in, but after the design contest and playing around with the different tops, straps, and pins, I decided to go with beach-y looking colors. Green is the color of the year, after all, and they had a really pretty Seafoam Green top. Pala swelte!

If you still haven't decided on a design, you can get inspiration from the entrance to the Rockwell Tent! Havaianas of all styles and color combinations are displayed, tempting me to get more than one pair. Must. control. Impulse to spend!

Upon entering, guests at the event walk into a pitch black room with the air-conditioning turned way up, and flip flop constellations on the walls - their theme for the year. If you've been standing in line outside for more than an hour, this is a welcome break before you battle your way through the lines to get your custom flip flops put together at the other side of the door.

See? My MYOH day wasn't so bad. There were a lot of people milling around taking photos of the Havianas air balloon and the flip flop photo wall. The only real line was at the cashier, which was moving pretty fast anyway.

There are different lines for a single pair, multiple pairs, and five pairs (which is the maximum you can purchase at MYOH). Jericho and I only had a pair each and were greeted by Kim and Val who helped put our dream flip flops together.

The tops start at P895 (I think the commemorative pair goes for P995), and the pins are either P100 or P150. Yes, they're a bit expensive for flip flops, but it's custom-made, so you pay a premium for one-of-a-kind designs that you chose.

A bit of a back story: My dog ended up eating my favorite pair of Havaianas last month. He chewed on the sole and turned the strap into bubble gum. I would've been super pissed if he just wasn't so darn cute. Using that as an excuse to buy a new pair, I wanted to have a pair that reminded me of the beach whenever I looked down and opted for a sea green top with gold straps as well as a shaka (hang loose hand sign) and three-star pins.

Jericho got the commemorative pair made by illustrator Dan Matutina (renowned for his unique visual mix of handmade & digital, clean & dirty, old & modern designs) with an alien and space man pins. I like how the design is very yin and yang - a woman astronaut with a curved helmet and the sun on the right and a male astronaut with an angular helmet and the moon on the left. This pair glow-in-the-dark, too!

This is the 'Limited Edition' limited edition pin I was referring to. Lol. And here I thought it would be a limited edition alien pin or NASA rocket something.

I didn't realize how big the pin was until it was too late, but it's all good. I especially like my shaka and three-stars pins. The colors and the pins give it a very chill and laid-back look - both of them are something I need to do more of.

I was pleasantly surprised to see a friendly face in the Customer Care station. Macky is an old co-worker who I love to bits 'coz he always all smiles. He can also be very, very cheeky. Go over and say hi if you see him!

Havaianas seems to have improved the quality of the rubber soles and straps this year. I have to say, they're extra comfy and very cushy! Jericho kept raving at how he felt like he was walking on air. I have to agree with him. I appreciate how the straps on my Slims were very soft, too. I used to get "strap-burns" when I'd break in a new pair of Havis, but these are the most comfortable pair I've ever owned!

When mucking around the MYOH at the Rockwell Tent this May 2nd - 5th, don't forget to tweet, Instagram, and Facebook your experience, and use the hashtag #MYOH2013! The tent has free wi-fi, compliments of PLDT - just ask any of the helpful staff in Havaianas aprons for the password. I had a ton of fun and am already looking forward to the next one!

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Photos courtesy of Jericho San Miguel