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Happy birthday Havaianas!

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It's the legendary flip-flop design that epitomises the carefree energy of Brazil and screams joie de vivre.

This week Brazilian footwear brand Havaianas celebrates its 50th birthday, marking its evolution from a “a new shoe model in the shape of a slingshot” in 1962 to one of the trendiest flip-flop brands in the world today.

We join the party by taking a look at some iconic campaign images from Havaianas over the years and the way in which they have come to represent "a new way to walk through life."

From retro beach scenes of surfing dudes and bikini-clad beauties to the bold and creative use of graphics, Havaianas posters are all about conjuring up the Brazilian spirit.

It's little surprise then, that Brazilians embraced the brand from the start - in 1963, just a year after launch, over one thousand pairs of sandals were sold per day. Today, 94% of Brazilians have or have had a pair of Havaianas.

And it's not just Brazil - by 2000, Havaianas appeal had gone global. Stores opened in Hawaii, Australia, France, the Philippines and elsewhere after visitors to Brazil fell in love with the flip-flops and filled their suitcases with their favourite pairs.

190 million pairs of flip-flops were sold last year alone and Havaianas have outlets in 85 countries. On average, 520,547 pairs are sold per day and 21,689 sold per hour. That's a lot of flip-flop enthusiasm...

In another random piece of trivia that Havaianas has researched, if all the 4 billion pairs sold through the years were lined together they would go around the Earth about 40 times (pub quiz enthusiasts, take note).

Havaianas were named in honour of the Hawaiian pleasure-centred approach to life, aiming to bring summer shine and positive thinking to one.

The actual birthday of Havaianas - June 15 - also marks National Flip Flop day, and as a celebration, the brand will be launching a limited edition 50th flip flop (seen below). Only 50,000 pairs have been produced worldwide, with 100% of sales going to UNICEF to support further projects in Brazil.

What do you think? Are you a Havaianas fan? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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