Flip Flops Beaded and Embellished
“I blew out my flip-flop/ stepped on a pop-top … ” You know the rest of this song – Margaritaville, the song tells the story of an alcoholic who has lost his way in life and now lazes seaside in plastic shoes probably purchased at a convenience store.
Pucci is making a terry-cloth flip-flop. Price: $170. Helmut Lang has a rubber flip-flop nearly identical to the ones you can get at beach side T-shirt shops. Price: $125. And a little design house called Sigerson Morrison has slapped a kitten heel on a rubber flip-flop and is selling it for $85.
- Beach Shoes.
Give old flip-flops new life by making beaded straps.
Thong sandals have been worn for thousands of years, dating back to pictures of them in ancient Egyptian murals from 4,000 BC. A pair found in Europe was made of papyrus leaves and dated to be approximately 1,500 years old. These early versions of flip-flops were made from a wide variety of materials. Ancient Egyptian sandals were made from papyrus and palm leaves. The Masai of Africa made them out of rawhide. In India, they were made from wood. In China and Japan, rice straw was used. The leaves of the sisal plant were used to make twine for sandals in South America, while the natives of Mexico used the yucca plant.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans wore versions of flip-flops as well. In Greek sandals, the toe strap was worn between the first and second toes, while Roman sandals had the strap between the second and third toes. These differ from the sandals worn by the Mesopotamians, with the strap between the third and fourth toes. In India, a related chappal (“toe knob”) sandal was common, with no straps but a small knob sitting between the first and second toes. They are known as Padukas
The modern flip-flop became popular in the United States as soldiers returning from World War II brought Japanese zōri with them. It caught on in the 1950s during the postwar boom and after the end of hostilities of the Korean War.
As they became adopted into American popular culture, the sandals were redesigned and changed into the bright colors that dominated 1950s design.They quickly became popular due to their convenience and comfort, and were popular in beach-themed stores and as summer shoes. During the 1960s, flip-flops became firmly associated with the beach lifestyle of California. As such, they were promoted as primarily a casual accessory, typically worn with shorts, bathing suits, or summer dresses. As they became more popular, some people started wearing them for more dressy or formal occasions.
In 1962, Alpargatas marketed a version of flip-flops known as Havaianas in Brazil. By 2010, more than 150 million pairs of Havaianas were produced each year.Flip-flops quickly became popular as casual footwear of young adults. Girls would often decorate their flip-flops with metallic finishes, charms, chains, beads, rhinestones, or other jewelry. High-end flip-flops made of leather or sophisticated synthetic materials are commonly worn in place of sneakers or loafers as the standard, everyday article of casual footwear, particularly among teenagers and young adults, although it is not unusual to see older people wearing playful, thick-soled flip-flops in brilliant colors.
A minor controversy erupted in 2005 when some members of Northwestern University’s national champion women’s lacrosse team visited the White House wearing flip-flops. The team responded to critics by auctioning off their flip-flops on eBay, raising $1,653 for young cancer patient, Jaclyn Murphy of Hopewell Junction, New York, who was befriended by the team. There is still a debate over whether this signaled a fundamental change in American culture — many youth feel that flip-flops are more dressy and can be worn in a variety of social contexts, while older generations feel that wearing them at formal occasions signifies laziness and comfort over style.
In 2011, while vacationing in his native Hawaii, Barack Obama became the first President of the United States to be photographed wearing a pair of flip-flops. The Dalai Lama of Tibet is also a frequent wearer of flip-flops and has met with several US presidents, including George W. Bush and Barack Obama, while wearing the sandals.
While exact sales figures for flip-flops are difficult to obtain due to the large number of stores and manufacturers involved, the Atlanta-based company Flip Flop Shops claimed that the shoes were responsible for a $20 billion industry in 2009. Furthermore, sales of flip-flops exceeded those of sneakers for the first time in 2006. If these figures are accurate, it is remarkable considering the low cost of most flip-flops.