Flip Flop Fashion
Q & A with Elaine Sugimura
With flip-flops on her feet, and sand between her toes, Allison Weiss Brady interviews Elaine Sugimura, president of Havaianas U.S.A.
AWB: What do you like about Miami style?
Elaine Sugimura: With a Brazilian brand, there is great sensuality and sexuality. People look great and feel great; and that’s what Havaianas is trying to portray in the US. The Brazilianess of the brand is what makes the essence of it so special. It’s all about comfort, simplicity, flexibility, joy, vibrancy, and energy, which fits in perfectly with the Miami lifestyle.
What is the ideal outfit to wear with flip flops?
It’s about being able to wear them to the mall or on the red carpet. Last year we presented all of the Oscar nominees our limited edition $195 Slim Crystal Mesh pairs (that’s our most expensive shoe). They are hand-done Swarovski crystal-encrusted shoes; each one takes four hours to make.
What one the most fabulous places you’ve worn Havanianas to?
I wore a pair of the Slim Crystal Mesh flip flops to Oscar de la Renta’s house “Punta Cana” in the Dominican Republic.
Who are some of your celebrity clients?
Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Vanessa Manillo, and Miley Cyrus. Giselle Bundchen also wears them, and she has her own line of flip flops (from a different company).
What is the price range of the shoes?
Approximately $16-$195, available for adults (male & female) and kids.
Where are they available in Miami?
Department stores to speciality stores including Macy’s and Saks.
Have any celebrities ever worn Havanianas on the red carpet?
Sandra Bullock wore them to the Oscars.
What pools in Miami do you love that are perfect for sporting your shoes?
The Raleigh and Gansevoort South.
What style or brand of swimsuits fit well with your shoes?
Any brand, as long as someone feels comfortable.
What do you love about Miami?
The weather, the sun, the spirit. Our company talks about our essence and how it makes people feel. We’re a humble luxury. It makes you feel great, and we resonate with everyone. We just want people to be happy and enjoy it. And people from Miami are very much like that.
Allison Weiss Brady handles marketing for celebrities and non-profits. She is active in many organizations in South Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania including Big Brothers Big Sister, The Community Coalition, Voices Against Brain Cancer, Gene Spotlight, The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation, and one of her family’s foundations Say Yes to Education, which recently partnered with Quincy Jones. Weiss Brady and her husband Chip Brady are members of Art Basel’s Junior Host Committee and Weiss Brady is a member of the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon Founding Committee. She on the Board of Advisors at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy and Practice and she’s the only female on the university’s Football Board. Weiss Brady was also the sole recipient of the University of Pennsylvania’s 2008 Young Alumni of the Year Award, and serves on the Overseers board for the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.