Not your dad’s camo: The Bape® x Havaianas collaboration is here

Words by Izzy Wight 

Where the beach meets the streets.

Growing up in Queensland our winters were mild, brief and always sorely underprepared for. The heat lulled until early June, when a sudden cold front turned our knees a purpley-blue under our thin plaid school skirts. We’d suffer through the short cold stint with a pair of long socks, last year’s slippers and a singular hoodie, waiting for beach weather once again. 

While my winter wardrobe left a lot to be desired, my summer options were seemingly endless: an ultra-bright selection of neon Roxy rashies, cutoff denim shorts and floral hair accessories, each look punctuated with the cult favourite shoe – a Havaianas thong. 

Keep up to date with emerging, Australian brands over at our Fashion section.

All I wanted was to look like Fly from Blue Water Highpuka shell necklace and all – and my beachy queen fashion evolution correlated to my choice of Havaianas style. It started with a thick-strap hot pink style – a toe dipped into the world of cool-girl flip flops – before I eventually graduated to a silver slim strap pair adorned with the pièce de résistance, two Swarovski crystals. 

A few years later, I moved interstate with a pair of thongs stored securely in my suitcase. I wore them with my summer uniform – a tee and tiny denim shorts – before declaring I wanted to start dressing ‘Melbourne’.

More specifically, I traded out my beachwear for streetwear and my beloved thongs for chunky black boots. There was little to no eclecticism in the way I dressed. It was a series of phases; a constant wardrobe turnover to facilitate each new ‘look’.

I’ve now discovered (to the delight of my bank account and the planet) that the most interesting pieces often lie at the intersection of different subcultures and styles – like the new collaboration between Havaianas and the legendary Japanese streetwear brand, A Bathing Ape® (Bape).

That’s right, ex-beach girl wannabes (me) – thongs have just gotten a whole lot cooler. Born in the ’90s heart of Harajuku, Japan, A Bathing Ape® has earned a spot in the coveted streetwear hall of fame, favoured by the likes of rap royalty Asap Rocky, Kid Cudi, Future and 2 Chainz. 

Launching in Australia on August 7, the co-designed collection features the all-time favourite Havaianas thong, reimagined in Bape®’s signature camouflage print (this isn’t your uncle’s camo, trust). While thongs and cult streetwear sound like an unlikely pairing, Fernanda Romano, CFO of the Havaianas parent company, Alpargatas, explains the collab makes more sense than you’d think. 

“​​“Havaianas and Bape® have a lot in common – they exist on the streets, they’re versatile to wear, and they’re so ubiquitous that anyone can recognise them instantly. Some people only associate closed shoes, especially sneakers, with the fashion we see on the streets, but we want to change that. Streetwear is underpinned by authenticity and comfort and this collab proves we can leverage those attributes to another level.”

While the blue and pink camo styles are currently available on the Havaianas website, fans across the country will be able to get their hands on the highly coveted green style from Saturday 14th August.

Keep an eye on the Havaianas Australia Instagram for more Havaianas and Bape® updates.

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